The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has just published a guide for victims of domestic violence, which aims to offer information on services and support offered by the Department.

The current cross government definition of domestic violence is:

“Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, 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. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to:

  • psychological
  • physical
  • sexual
  • financial
  • emotional”

A full explanation of the definition can be found here. 

The guide takes you through the different kinds of evidence that can be used in court, and also covers the following areas which can sometimes be affected by domestic abuse:

  • Housing Benefit
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Universal Credit
  • the benefit cap
  • removal of the spare room subsidy
  • Discretionary Housing Payments
  • Migrant partner support
  • Child maintenance

At the same time, updated court forms have been issued to reflect the new evidence-based requirements for domestic abuse. Changes have been made to Form FM1, Form A, Form A1, Form B and Form C100, and the new forms come into effect today.

Finally, the Lords will be holding a discussion about domestic violence in the context of housing needs for victims, tomorrow at 3pm. The debate centers around the Secure Tenancies (Victims of Domestic Abuse) Bill, which will have its second reading at the same time. You can watch the debate on Parliament TV.