Domestic violence orders reach record level

By Joe Lepper

| 18 December 2017

The number of orders granted by courts to protect families affected by domestic violence have reached a record high, Ministry of Justice (MoJ) figures show.

A total of 7,446 domestic violence orders were granted between July and September 2017. Picture: David McCullough

Family court statistics for July to September 2017 reveal that 7,446 domestic violence orders were granted by courts over the period.

This is the highest quarterly figure since the statistics were first compiled in 2009 and is a 13.3 per cent increase on the 6,567 orders that were granted by courts over the same period in 2016.

In the first nine months of 2017 a total of 21,036 domestic violence orders were made, up 7.7 per cent on the 19,528 granted over the same period in 2016.

The previous highest quarterly figure for courts granting a domestic violence order was 7,337 in July to September 2009. The lowest was the 5,381 granted between October and December 2011.

The figures also suggest the number of orders could rise further the number of applications for a domestic violence order reached its highest level for eight years. 

Between July and September this year there were 6,692 applications, up 595 (9.7 per cent) on the same quarter in 2016 and the highest since July to September 2009, when 7,677 applications were made.

The figures come just a week after Ofsted criticised local authority children's services for failing to do enough to prevent domestic violence.

The inspectorate's annual report said social workers are too focused on victims and need to do more to tackle perpertrators and prevent further incidents of abusive behavior.

The MoJ figures also reveal that the number of court applications and orders made to protect girls and women from female genital mutilation (FGM) are at a record high.

Between July to September this year a total of 42 applications, all relating to under 18s, were made for a female genital mutilation protection order (FGMPO). This is more than double the 20 applications made in the same period in 2016.

The number of FGMPOs made in July to September this year was 34. The previous highest number of orders made was April to June this year when 32 were granted by courts.

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