New research on financial abuse

Dr Nicola Sharp-Jeffs presented her report Money Matters in Durham this week, from a research project with Refuge and the Co-operative Bank. Nicola also coordinates an international network of practitioners, policy makers and academics on financial abuse - if you would like to be added to the circulation list for this then just send her an e-mail . You can also find out more about her charity, Surviving Economic Abuse.

Stalkers unlikely to be jailed even for repeat offences

Almost two-thirds avoid prison term for breach of restraining order, Ministry of Justice admits. Offenders convicted of stalking or harassment who repeatedly breach their restraining orders often escape with fines and non-custodial sentences, according to new figures.

Politicians and victim support groups warn that lives are being put at risk by failure to take action against repeat offenders who habitually breach the orders, which can be imposed for a range of offences also including domestic violence and coercive control.

Stalking behaviour identified in 94% of murders

Researchers urge criminal justice professionals to take early intervention on ‘seemingly harmless’ obsessive behaviour. Stalking behaviour has been identified in nine in 10 murders studied by criminologists as part of research examining a link between the two crimes. The six-month study by the University of Gloucestershire found stalking was present in 94% of the 358 cases of criminal homicides they looked at. Surveillance activity, including covert watching, was recorded 63% of the time.

National commission on domestic abuse and complex needs launched

AVA will work with AGENDA (Alliance for Women and Girls at Risk) to launch a national commission to strengthen the sector’s response to domestic abuse for people who have complex needs, such as substance dependencies and/or mental health issues. This will strengthen the work AVA already delivers on multiple disadvantage and complex needs.

Number of victims withdrawing support for charges rockets

More than 160,000 victims of domestic violence in England withdrew their support for charges against their abusers in 2016, a number that rocketed by almost 40 per cent compared with the previous 12 months, exclusive figures reveal. The jump has fuelled concern that cuts to policing and specialist services for victims of domestic abuse are pushing vulnerable people back into dangerous and potentially deadly situations, while allowing perpetrators to escape justice.

Transform grants announced

Lloyds Foundation has announced the 17 awards made under its Transform: Domestic & Sexual Abuse, a one-off grants programme to strengthen policy influencing, infrastructure and innovation in the sector. The total investment is over £1.6 million. Details of the grants awarded are available and include a range of projects spanning different specialisms and geographies, in recognition of the diverse nature of the sector.

Northumbria Police fail victim

A graduate’s pleas for help were ignored by police just five days before she was murdered by her former boyfriend, a court has heard. Alice Ruggles, 24, was subjected to months of harassment by Trimaan Dhillon, 26, a soldier, before he cut her throat, the murder trial at Newcastle crown court was told.

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