The first thing to do when dealing with cases involving domestic violence is to make sure the victim and any children are safe.
A woman who is suffering from mental or physical violence can ask the Freeda (previously known as the Women’s Refuge) for help at any time. They offer advice, counselling and a safe place to go and stay.
Website: Freeda | Free from Domestic Abuse
It is also possible to meet a member of Freeda staff outside of the refuge. This member of staff is called an Outreach Worker and she can arrange to meet someone who needs help in a place that they choose e.g. at home or in a public place.
A man who is the victim of domestic violence can contact the Men’s Refuge
Jersey Domestic Abuse Support
JDAS is an independent service developed to protect and support victims of domestic abuse and sexual abuse.
Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs) address the safety of victims at a high risk of harm from intimate partners, ex-partners or family members to secure their safety and the safety of children.
Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs) play an important role in providing specialist, tailored support to victims and survivors of sexual violence. An ISVA is an adviser who works with people who have experienced rape and sexual assault, irrespective of whether they have reported to the police.
Domestic Abuse Disclosure Scheme
Clare’s Law was started after the case of Clare Wood in England.
The scheme has two purposes:
- the right to ask, which enables someone to ask the police about a partner’s previous history of domestic violence or violent acts
- the right to know, which allows the police to proactively disclose information in certain circumstances
There is more information about how the scheme works on the States of Jersey Police website.
If the Courts and the Police are involved in a domestic violence case, it can make the violent person realise the consequences of their behaviour. The violent person might stop their behaviour if they realise that they could be sent to prison for it.
An injunction is a Court order to restrain the violent person from contacting or to stop them from going to the person’s home.
It is possible to obtain an injunction urgently if required. A person needs a lawyer to get an injunction. Legal Aid may be available.
Someone who gets an injunction order should also take some sensible security precautions as well, such as
- change the locks on doors
- have a friend or family member move in to live with them
- tell the honorary police in their parish what is happening
Court orders should only be a part of the solution. They should not be relied on as a long term measure. For example, being served with an injunction may not stop a violent person being violent.
Prosecution and punishment
The police will bring a case against anyone who has committed an act of domestic violence if they think there is enough evidence. The victim must agree to make a complaint to the police. This is known as a formal complaint.
Once a formal complaint is made, the police can take action.
There is now a programme for men who would like to stop their abusive behaviour called ADAPT (Adapt Domestic Abuse Prevention Training).
The Court has the choice of sending someone on this training as a condition or part of a probation order. In order to be considered suitable for the ADAPT training, men need to be assessed to see if they are willing to accept the need to change their behaviour.
The ADAPT programme is made up of five modules. Each part lasts for six weeks.
Jersey Action Against Rape
JAAR is a charity that aims to prevent and heal the trauma of rape, sexual assault and sexual abuse, providing support for victims in Jersey and their families.
Counselling service is offered by the Women’s Refuge.
Police contact details
States of Jersey Police
La Route du Fort