Views wanted on new five year plan to tackle domestic abuse in the county

Domestic abuse

A consultation has been launched asking for views on a new five year plan to tackle domestic abuse in the county

The Kent and Medway Partnership Domestic Abuse Strategy 2024-2029, produced by the Kent and Medway Domestic and Sexual Abuse Executive Group, looks at ways to respond to help those who are, or have, suffered abuse and preventative measures.

By bringing together partners including Kent County Council, Medway Council, Kent District, Borough and City councils, Kent Police, Kent Fire and Rescue Services, National Probation Service, NHS providers, the Department for Work and Pensions and the Police and Crime Commissioner, the strategy aims to reduce occurrences of domestic abuse and ensure that when it takes place, those affected get the right support, quickly.

Domestic abuse

Domestic abuse is a widespread and persistently underreported form of crime which affected 2.4 million people across the UK last year.

In 2021/22, over 100 domestic abuse related crimes per day were recorded by Kent Police, 40% of incidents recorded a child or children as present.

As well as violent behaviour, domestic abuse can also include sexual, psychological, emotional abuse or coercive and controlling behaviour.

It can happen across different types of relationships and affect men as well as women and children.

Strategy commitments

The commitments in the strategy are presented in three key priorities informed by people with lived experience of this crime:

  • Early intervention and prevention – identify domestic abuse as early as possible and get support in place.
  • Immediate needs – services, interventions, and support during episodes and immediately after.
  • Recovery – support to recover from harm, heal and become resilient.

The strategy also identifies how the partnership will improve access to safe accommodation services for victims wishing to remain in their own home if it is safe to do so or help them access alternative accommodation and support to keep them safe from harm elsewhere.

The situation in Thanet

Data published in December 2022 shows that between 2017-2021 Thanet had the highest average of domestic abuse related calls to Kent Police at 4,548 compared to 1,709 in Sevenoaks.

Recorded domestic abuse related offences across the county are also highest in Thanet at 27.6 crimes per 1,000 population compared to 12.6 in Sevenoaks.

In 2020 and 2021, nearly 4,000 crimes of controlling and coercive behaviour were recorded by Kent Police, which equates to 3.0 per 1,000 population (aged 16+). Thanet recorded the highest volume of crimes (401) and Sevenoaks had the lowest (182).

Thanet is also the Kent district with the highest volume of MARAC (Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference) cases.

These are meetings where information is shared on victims at the highest risk of serious harm or murder as a result of domestic abuse. It is attended by representatives of local agencies such as police and health.

The Children’s Commissioner estimates 20,615 children aged 0 – 17 in Kent are living in households where a parent is suffering domestic abuse. There are almost 1,500 DA incidents recorded by the Kent Police each month where children may have witnessed abuse. Three quarters of children recorded on domestic abuse incidents are aged under 11.

Kent County Council leader Roger Gough

Roger Gough, Leader of KCC, said: “Domestic abuse is an appalling crime that poses a fundamental challenge to our communities, harming whole families and often having a lasting impact spanning generations.

“In drafting this strategy, we have worked hard with our partners to listen and understand the stories and experiences of victims, shaping our new strategy around the support and services they have told us they need.

“However, many still suffer in silence.

“No-one should experience domestic abuse. Through this strategy and its clear commitments, we will work together to reduce abuse from happening, strengthen our collective services and make sure we continue to learn from experiences and adapt our services appropriately.

“I encourage everyone, particularly those who sadly may have experience of domestic abuse and the charities and organisations in the sector, to give us your views in this consultation to ensure we can offer the best and most appropriate support to people and families affected by domestic abuse in the future.”

Consultation details

The consultation is open now and runs until 9 October.

Please visit to complete the online questionnaire.

Feedback is also welcome via the word version of the questionnaire or via email, letter, or phone if you don’t want to fill out the questionnaire.

Email: [email protected]

Address: Kent and Medway Domestic Abuse Strategy, Kent County Council, 2.70 Sessions House, County Hall, Maidstone ME14 1XQ

If you need any of the information about the consultation in a different format, please email [email protected] or call 03000 421553 (text relay service number: 18001 03000 421553).

If you have any questions, please contact [email protected].

Following the end of the consultation a full analysis and report will be completed and will be presented at governance groups, including the Kent and Medway Domestic and Sexual Abuse Executive Group, before the strategy is agreed and finalised.

Get help

If you need support now this can be accessed by telephoning: Victim Support in Kent on 0808 168 9276 or visiting

Call Oasis’s helpline on 0800 917 9948
(Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 09:30–11:30am, 12:30–2:30pm Thursday and Friday 09:30–11:30am, except bank holidays)

In an emergency, call 999


  1. It would help if you had judges on the bench that actually understood domestic abuse and did not threaten to take your children away if you raise issues. The Designated Judge in Kent is useless. What hope have we got with SCARRATT on the circuit …


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