DVCN - Domestic Violence Co-ordinators Network

About Standing Together

Standing Together Against Domestic Violence came into being as a charity over 10 years ago. It began as a largely statutory sector DV partnership based on the Duluth model. Its major focus was ensuring the safety of victims and children and holding perpetrators to account through the criminal justice system. This meant developing protocols and processes from the moment of the first 999 call to police until the case was concluded appropriately.

A key element of this "coordinated community response", apart from protocols between partners was the use of advocates, now of course known as Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs).

Since its inception, Standing Together has grown both locally and nationally. It established the second Specialist Domestic Violence Court (SDVC) and was the first SDVC to hear trials. It has also been influential in developing national policy in relation to the coordinated community response, SDVCs and other initiatives in relation to a partnership approach to domestic violence. We have experience of working with every shape and size of Domestic Violence partnership throughout the United Kingdom.

Standing Together has recognised the need to develop a response which includes prevention and early intervention and which goes beyond the narrow confines of the criminal justice system. It continues to support the need to respond to victims in crisis but believes that partners, especially from the statutory sector, can do more at the earlier stages of Domestic Violence..

As part of their mission to build coordinated community responses throughout the country they held the largest ever gathering of Domestic Violence Coordinators (DVCs) at a conference in 2007. It was from this conference that the overwhelming desire of DVCs to form a national network became clear. Standing Together are proud to have been part of this process and to be coordinating and administering the network.


The DVCN would like to thank the following donors for supporting the development of the Network:

  • Adva
  • Leicester Domestic Violence Forum Partnership
  • Oxford City Council
  • Portsmouth County Council
  • Northamptonshire County Council
  • Nottingham County Council

Adva stands for - against domestic violence and abuse - it is the name of the multi-agency partnership in Devon committed to tackling dva as it impacts all those affected by - victims, perpetrators, children and agencies. The partnership is coordinated by a small team who work within Devon County Council to develop and implement an agreed strategy and deliver the services that underpin that strategy. Adva has developed wide ranging services encompassing - open access outreach services for victims (women and men) and children; IDVAs to support those within MARAC and SDVCs; a community based perpetrator programme (REPAIR) encompassing Women's Safety Work and support to children; children and young people's support workers for the 14-25 age group; Pattern Changing courses for women survivors; an extensive training programme for all agencies; and promotes and helps to implement employer policies for all public sector agencies within Devon.

Leicester County Council
Leicester Domestic Violence Forum Partnership (LDVFP) is hosted by the Safer Leicester Partnership Team within Leicester City Council. Domestic violence is a priority for the Safer Leicester Partnership under violent crime but is acknowledged to affect several local priority boards. A second inter-agency domestic violence strategy is being launched by the LDVFP early 2010. Work is co-ordinated across Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland via a Joint Domestic Violence Strategic Group, which hears performance reports from our SDVC, MARAC and IDVA services - many of which are delivered cross area. www.saferleicester.org/dv

Oxford City Council
The Oxford Safer Communities Partnership works together to tackle all types of crime. It specialises in a number of areas, Domestic & Sexual Abuse; Drugs; Nightsafe; Preventing Violent Extremism; Neighbourhood Action Teams; Community Safety; Street Wardens and Crime & Nuisance Action Team. As a contributor, the Partnership is very committed to supporting the DVCN as a much needed and worthwhile endeavour to enhance the roles and improve the working lives of Domestic Abuse Co-ordinators.

Portsmouth County Council
The Hidden Violence Team, Portsmouth - This team has a number of services including the Early Intervention Project, working front line with survivors of domestic abuse, sexual violence and rape - The Racial Awareness Service and Protecting Community Development Worker. The team also works on issues such as Homophobia, Protecting Vulnerable Adults, Trafficking and Prostitution. As a contributer to the DVCN Portsmouth City Council has a history of sharing good practice and sees the DVCN as continuing and enhancing this ethos.

Northamptonshire County Council
Northamptonshire County Council, Community Safety Team. 'As a contributor, Northamptonshire County Council is committed to tackling crime and disorder in Northamptonshire. The Community Safety Team works hard to strengthen and facilitate successful multi-agency working across the county, from domestic abuse and anti-social behaviour to facilitating the Safer Communities agenda and working with Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships across the county. The Team, through the continued support of the Business Manager, has enabled the Northamptonshire Domestic Abuse Forum (NorDAF - www.nordaf.co.uk) to achieve significant outcomes not only for NorDAF itself but also in impressive cross-partnership working. Northamptonshire County Council is pleased to support the DVCN and recognises the benefits that the Network will provide in terms of sharing good practice, sharing experiences and enabling coordinators to access training and resources to help them in what is a challenging and vital role.'

Funder's logos:

If your agency would be interested in supporting the future development of the Network please contact enquiries@dvcn.org.uk

Founding Members

The following individuals have been pivotal in the development of the DVCN:

  • Anthony Wills
  • Liz Jones
  • Magda Devas
  • Rachel Duncan
  • Roy Tomlinson
  • Stephanie McBurney
  • Tonia Earey

Anthony Wills
Was a senior police officer when "converted" to the importance of DV and related partnerships. Has worked for the LGA as a DV consultant, the government on all things DV and has been travelling the country for 6 years trying to create effective DV partnerships. Currently the Chief Executive of Standing Together Against Domestic Violence and works closely with local partners (on the LSCB for example) and the CPS, Met Police Authority and all the government departments that oversee the SDVC system.

Liz Jones - Domestic & Sexual Abuse Co-ordinator for Oxford City Council
'I have been in post for nearly 4 years. What began as purely a narrow domestic abuse role has expanded to include Sexual Violence, Honour Based Violence, Sex Working & Exploitation, Harassment & Stalking and inclusion of minority groups. It is a challenging role that is forever evolving and therefore never dull. I sit on the DVCN Working Group in my own capacity but also as a representative for all the Co-ordinators in the Thames Valley.'

Dr Rachel Duncan - Business Manager for the Northamptonshire Domestic Abuse Forum (NorDAF) and Northamptonshire County Council lead for domestic abuse
'I have been in post for three years after completing a PhD in feminist performance art and undertaking a variety of jobs in Further and Higher Education from Learning Mentor to Lecturer. My role as NorDAF Business Manager has developed considerably since coming to post and from what was originally a coordinating and facilitating role, the post has developed to encompass service and policy development and provides the strategic drive for the agenda in the county. This investment has led to significant progress in successful partnership working and improvements in the county's response to domestic abuse. My job has so much variety, which I enjoy so much, and consistently challenges me. I feel privileged to be able to work in a field that can make a real difference to the lives of some of the most vulnerable and at risk people.'

Roy Tomlinson
Roy Tomlinson is a Communities and Strategy Officer in Devon County Council Chief Executive Directorate with county wide responsibility for community safety. He worked initially as a social worker and has had a variety of roles linked to children and young people's policy and service development. His special interests have been in youth justice and domestic violence. He coordinates the Safer Devon Partnership bringing together the 8 partnerships and statutory agencies across Devon to deliver the Local Area Agreement outcomes on Community Safety. He first established the Devon Domestic Violence Network in 1998 which has subsequently evolved into the Against Domestic Violence and Abuse (adva) partnership.

Stephanie McBurney
'I have been the domestic violence co-ordinator in Leicester for over six years. The way it works here at the moment is that I support a domestic violence forum partnership and am hosted by the local authority alongside the Safer Leicester Partnership team. I've always found the role rewarding, but also often frustrating and anxiety provoking! I think a DVCN will be able to make a great difference in the support and understanding of the role and what it aims to achieve.'

Tonia Earey BA (Hons), Dip Coun, Domestic Abuse Co-ordinator Portsmouth City.
I have been working with vulnerable children and families for over 10 years and in 2007 was seconded to lead the steering group to set up the Specialist Domestic Abuse Court in Portsmouth. I have been the domestic abuse co-ordinator in Portsmouth since October 2008 working across statutory and voluntary agencies. I love the variety of my work, from setting up marches and events to raise awareness of domestic abuse, working with children and families, linking with other professionals and ensuring that all services delivered meet the needs of our client group. My role is unique and offers a rich variety of work that I find both challenging and satisfying.