Victims urged to use apps to record domestic abuse

Victims urged to use apps to record domestic abuse

Published by Maria Greenwood at 7:24am 14th August 2019.

New figures suggest cases continue to fail due to a 'lack of evidence.'

'Coercive control' became a new offence under Section 76 of the Serious Crime Act 2015.

The term spans a broad range of actions that are intended to intimidate, restrict and control a partner's behaviour.

Ridley & Hall Solicitors have obtained figures from Dorset Police under a Freedom of Information Request.

They show there were 99 arrests for 'controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate or family relationship' last year. Of those, 11 charges were made and 'no further action' was recorded 11 times.

Texting iphone

They're encouraging victims of domestic violence to record incidents on mobile phone apps - many of which disguise themselves as something else. so that an abuser wouldn't be able to identify it on a victim's phone.

Some apps even allow victims and their lawyers the option of downloading the stored records in a court-ready chronology.

Emma Pearmaine, family lawyer said: 

"Coercive control is a subtle pattern of behaviours which are very hard for both victims and the Police to prove. Although thousands of arrests are made for domestic violence and coercive control each year, cases are often dropped because of insufficient evidence.

"We know that incidents of domestic abuse and violence go up over holiday periods, so I am urging those who already feel threatened to find a way of making a record of any and all incidents of abuse over the summer." 

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Vodafone and charity Hestia have worked together and launched an App called Bright Sky to empower victims of domestic violence to make a record of incidents of domestic violence.

There is also another app called The Keep, which has been developed with Comic Relief funding.

Both apps are available to download on  iPhone or android.