The £47million cost of domestic abuse in South Tyneside
The impact of domestic abuse could be costing South Tyneside almost £50million every year.
The scale of the problem has been laid bare in a new report for South Tyneside Council, which found there were 4,221 reports of domestic abuse to Northumbria Police in 2017/18, costing the borough ‘in the region of £47 million’.
More than two fifths of reports are believed to involve repeat victims, while a similar proportion involved children.
“The figures are quite stark and it’s a really significant challenge for us as a borough, said Tom Hall, South Tyneside Council’s (STC) director of public health.
“There’s a whole system approach underway in South Tyneside and the whole of the police force area, our response to this has to be comprehensive, campaigning alone won’t help.”
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According to the council’s website, domestic violence and abuse is classed as any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality.
This can encompass, but is not limited to, psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional abuse.
Earlier in 2019, the council began looking at a new approach whereby people who subject their partners to domestic abuse will be offered services aimed at breaking cycles of abuse under a planned new approach.
Head of Children and Families Social Care on the council, Shona Gallagher, said in June that a new model aimed to tackle the “cyclical” nature of some domestic abuse cases in South Tyneside, where perpatrors separated from families, could move on and repeat the pattern of abuse.
The council says there is a need to tackle “entrenched behaviours and impact on children and young people” to reduce the impact of domestic abuse.
The authority has a number of approaches to tackling the issue, working with other agencies to tackle the problem.
South Tyneside’s Community Safety Partnership has tackling domestic violence and abuse as a priority.