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Domestic Abuse

Advice on domestic abuse during lockdown.

Coronavirus restrictions have meant families are spending increased time at home meaning more exposure to some potential risks than usual, as well as reduced contact with universal services who can help raise-awareness.

We know that abuse can escalate when families face greater pressure and stress, and the order to stay at home can cause anxiety for those who already feel at-risk. During this time, Refuge, a domestic violence charity, saw a 700% increase in calls for help in one day.

The government defines domestic abuse as an event or pattern of events of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between people aged 16 or over who are (or have been) intimate partners or family members.

Physical violence is just one type of abuse – domestic abuse can be any behaviour which is used to harm, punish or frighten you, or makes you feel bullied, controlled or intimidated. This includes mental, sexual, financial and emotional abuse and other harmful practices such as female genital mutilation (FGM), so called ‘honour’ based violence and forced marriage.

Friends, family, neighbours and community members can be a vital lifeline to those living with domestic abuse. If you are worried that someone you know may be a victim of domestic abuse, reassure them that the police and support services are still there to help and direct them to sources of support.

Faith may be the first place that people turn to in times of need. You can offer your support by:

  • Contacting your church safeguarding coordinator or Synod Safeguarding Officer if you become concerned that someone may be experiencing abuse.
  • Call the Police if someone is in immediate danger.
  • Make training and advice accessible for those in your church, this will help them identify and support those at risk.
  • Signpost to support agencies and community resources including SafeLives website. Be aware of the need for discreteness when signposting so as not to place survivors in any further danger.
  • Consider how your safeguarding coordinator could be contacted directly and confidentially by those in need.
  • Promote that those fleeing violence are exempt from the order to “stay at home” and they can leave to keep themselves safe.
  • Familiarise yourself with Appendix R – Good Practice 5 – A Guide to Domestic Abuse

Click here for practical support around working from home and domestic abuse

Please click the hyper link here for Asylum Seeker Support and changes to Asylum and Resettlement policy and practice in response to COVID-19.

The SCIE has developed this practical guide for recognising and responding to domestic violence and abuse. For further information relating to child protection and safeguarding, please see the NSPCC website.

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