Experts study action on domestic violence

Submitted by Editor on Wed, 08/09/2004 - 03:25

A TEAM of experts from Hong Kong visited Leeds today to see at first hand the city's pioneering efforts to tackle the problem of domestic violence.

http://www.leedstoday.net/ViewArticle.aspx?SectionID=39ArticleID=850725

06 September 2004

BY NIGEL SCOTT
nigel.scott@ypn.co.uk

The Chinese delegation, which includes women's and social workers as well as representatives of women's refuge centres, broke off from a visit to an international conference in Edinburgh to spend time at the Leeds Inter-Agency Project (LIAP) for domestic violence.

The seven-strong team picked Leeds because of the city's work in making it easier for both the civil and criminal justice processes to tackle the problem. LIAP was established in 1990 with the aim of improving protection and support services to abused women and their children. LIAP is now the largest inter-agency partnership working to end violence against women in the UK.

Leeds was the first city in the country to pilot a Domestic Violence Cluster Court which runs every week.

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The specialist court, which deals with women and their abusive partners, was a first when it was inaugurated five years ago and has gone on to become a model for similar courts around the country.

LIAP was responsible for establishing HALT, a Leeds-based advocacy project that supports women who have experienced violence and are using the civil or criminal courts.

HALT (Help, Advice and the Law Team) provides practical legal help and support to women regarding their rights and choices in both the civil and criminal justice systems.

The first such advocacy project in the UK, it is now celebrating 10 years of existence and remains at the forefront in the field, influencing local and national debate and policy.

The work of LIAP has been recognised by the Home Office for the good work it carries out in helping the different agencies involved in dealing with domestic violence to work together effectively.

Supt Trevor Kerry, Leeds's Chief Community Safety Officer, said: "Leeds is carrying out some important work in tackling domestic violence effectively.

"I'm delighted that we are able to share some of this good practice with professionals from overseas."

Supt Kerry leads what is a joint operation between the council and West Yorkshire Police aimed at tackling anti-social behaviour."

Hong Kong has recognised domestic violence as a distinct problem since 1986 when it brought in specific regulations in an attempt to confront the problem.

However, following a recent incident when a woman and her two daughters were stabbed to death, some professionals have been calling for the current measures to be reviewed and updated.

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