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What's the situation on women who confide in professionals about domestic violence but don't want any action taken?

10 replies

franch · 27/06/2008 10:34

I know prosecutions can be brought without the victim's testimony, but is that a question of the victim just staying out of the process rather than actively opposing action being taken?

If professionals can take action against the victim's wishes, how do they assure them of confidentiality when they are trying to get them to confide in them? e.g. How could a social worker reassure a client whose partner had been reported by a third party for domestic abuse to encourage them to talk about it, if the client was denying it and wanted nothing done?

I'm doing some writing on this subject and need more info on the relationship between social services and the police in these situations - pointers to any reading I could do would be really really helpful.

Thanks all.

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milliec · 27/06/2008 13:59

Message withdrawn

franch · 27/06/2008 19:01

thanks millie but what if no children involved?

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nervousal · 27/06/2008 19:04

I think this is a pretty grey area. In general I think they are not bound to report it - unless they think the woman is in immediate danger? Its a bit ridiculous that we have all these child protection laws - but nothing to support vulnerable adults

franch · 27/06/2008 19:08

thanks nervousal. I'm having trouble finding out what the actual guidelines are on this - would a social worker be able to say 'We won't do anything you don't want us to do' in order to encourage a victim to talk, for example?

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TheChicken · 27/06/2008 19:09


if they do do it wihout the persons say so ti cna be very tricky in court and rely alot on the efficiency of hte police nad the cps

nervousal · 27/06/2008 19:10

might be worht contacting some local authorities and asking for their policies on domestic abuse?

Jazzicatz · 27/06/2008 19:11

Social workers have a duty of care however that does not extend to divulging information without the prior knowledge of the victim - thats is unless children are involved. However, there are now partnerships called MARAC's which are monthly partnership meetings which discuss high risk victims and families - this can be discussed without the prior authority by the victim.

smallwhitecat · 27/06/2008 19:15

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn

ProfessorGrammaticus · 27/06/2008 19:18

Lawyers can ONLY breach confidentiality for child protection reasons - if you suspect your client will be knocked about there is nothing you can do, you just have to advise him/her what he/she should do, IYSWIM

franch · 28/06/2008 08:43

OK, many thanks all - that gives me something to go on

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