Standing Together Against Domestic Abuse
Specialist Domestic Abuse Courts (SDACs) are part of a collaborative approach to tackling the complexities of domestic abuse. They place the Court and the Criminal Justice System as part of a Coordinated Community Response to domestic abuse.
Working together, specialist courts help to ensure the safety of the victim by identifying, tracking and risk-assessing domestic abuse, supporting victims, and sharing information effectively. The approach has been shown to increase safe outcomes for survivors, help increase convictions and reduce attrition and withdrawal rates for these cases.
Standing Together is a national charity working to end domestic abuse. In 2002, Standing Together was instrumental in the development of one of the UK's first SDACs at Hammersmith Magistrates' Court, London. In 2012, the charity established another SDAC at Westminster Magistrates Court.
Funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Standing Together is now delivering a 'Mentor Court Project', which aims to reinvigorate the SDAC model across England and Wales through capacity-building, consultancy, and opportunity for stakeholders to visit 1 of the 2 Mentor Court sites in England: Westminster Magistrates Court; and an Outer-London Court in Cambridgeshire.
Part of the project also involves a Mapping element to create an SDAC database on a widespread scale across England and Wales to gain a better understanding of where SDACs currently operate, and what this looks like in practice.
Treebeard Trust has been supporting Standing Together SDAC Mapping Work through restricted funding since 2019.