COVID-19 resources on domestic violence

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A perfect storm: the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on domestic abuse survivors and the services supporting them

Women’s Aid

This report presents findings from the first phase of a research project exploring the impact of Covid-19 on experiences of domestic abuse for adult and child survivors and the specialist domestic services supporting them. It draws on the analysis of data from existing service directories, a thematic analysis of trends, and initial and follow-up surveys of providers and survivors. Findings suggest that whilst the Covid-19 pandemic did not cause domestic abuse, it created a perfect storm of challenges for survivors and the services supporting them. The lockdown measures gave perpetrators a tool that they quickly learnt to use for coercion, manipulation and to induce fear. This in turn exposed survivors to worsening domestic abuse, whilst restricting their access to support. At the same time, the pandemic created challenges for the specialist domestic abuse support sector in providing life-saving support, including lost income, staff shortages and additional costs of remote working. The report argues that to address this perfect storm domestic abuse must be seen as a priority at the highest level within all work across government; businesses and communities need to play a critical role in raising awareness of abuse and signposting survivors to specialist support; the government must create a long-term sustainable funding solution for all support services; and the government must address the recommendations outlined by sector experts looking at the impact of Covid-19 on the experiences of Black and minoritised women, migrant women, Deaf and disabled women and other marginalised groups.

Last updated on hub: 20 August 2020

Accommodation for perpetrators of domestic abuse: emerging issues and responses due to COVID-19

Drive Project

Isolation and social distancing during the COVID-19 lockdown have led and are likely to continue to lead to an increase in domestic abuse, violence and coercive control at all levels of risk. This paper argues that, where it would be in the best interests of the victim and better ensure their safety and wellbeing, adequate housing provision is urgently needed for perpetrators of domestic violence. The lack of availability of such accommodation is limiting options available to victims and police in their endeavour to keep victims safe.

Last updated on hub: 30 June 2020

ADASS autumn survey 2020

Association of Directors of Adult Social Services

Findings from the ADASS autumn survey, which was distributed between 22nd October and 13th November 2020. There are 151 local authorities in England with adult social care responsibility. For this survey, there were 101 completed returns. Key messages include: the onset of the pandemic has led to an increase in the number of people presenting with adult social care needs to local authorities, with concerning increases in older and disabled people presenting for domestic abuse and safeguarding and carer breakdown since June 2020; the precarious financial position of adult social care means that Directors confidence in meeting what they have to do in law, which is the cornerstone of meeting basic human rights, continues to diminish year on year; since the onset of Covid-19 the risk of already fragile care markets failing has significantly heightened; adult social care services are facing significant financial pressures in 2020/21, with an overspend of £468m predicted nationally, as a result of the additional need and costs that have emerged as a result of the onset of the pandemic and despite additional funding for Covid-19 from Government.

Last updated on hub: 24 November 2020

Beyond masks: societal impacts of COVID-19 and accelerated solutions for children and adolescents

United Nations Children's Emergency Fund

This review explores the societal impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on children, drawing on the existing literature – both of Covid-19 and other health crises – to guide child-sensitive responses. It also focuses on effective and feasible interventions, providing insight into the diverse domains of children’s lives that can be affected and which will require attention and action. The review covers: health and wellbeing; economy and equality; learning and human capital development; violence and conflict; family relationships; and social networks. It finds that there are evidence-based, low-cost, scalable interventions with demonstrated effectiveness in mitigating multiple challenges worsened by Covid-19. However, rapid innovation and evidence-building is needed to adapt evidence-based interventions to a Covid-19 context, including contexts of sustained poverty, weakened government capacity, social distancing/physical distancing and movement restrictions. Many of the interventions will explore the use of digital adaptation and efforts to reduce the digital divide, while infrastructure strengthening will be a prerequisite for much of the rapid response when virtual resources are utilised. The report argues that by identifying accelerator provisions – social protection, parenting support and psychosocial/mental health support, safe and quality education environment and others – it is possible to strategically aim to mitigate the negative consequences of Covid-19 on children and adolescents. The report sets out a six-point plan to protect children from the worst effects of the pandemic, calling on governments and partners to: ensure all children learn, including by closing the digital divide; guarantee access to primary health care and vaccination; support and protect the mental health of children and young people and bring an end to abuse, gender-based violence and neglect; increase access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene and address environmental degradation and climate change; reverse the rise in child poverty; and redouble efforts to protect and support children and their families living through conflict, disaster and displacement.

Last updated on hub: 24 November 2020

Briefing on individuals with NRPF who are experiencing, or are at risk of, homelessness and destitution during the COVID-19 pandemic

Project 17

Considers the implications of the COVID-19 crisis for individuals who are unable to access social housing or most welfare benefits due to their ‘no recourse to public funds’ (NRPF) immigration status. Without the safety net of social security, these individuals are at high risk of homelessness, destitution and exploitation, and are therefore particularly vulnerable to the effects of the pandemic. The paper focuses in particular on education, social care, domestic abuse and health. It provides brief outlines of the issues with the current provision of services in each area and the impact that the lack of access to support has on families with NRPF. The paper sets out suggested questions to help local authorities and the government to reflect on their current practices, their responses to the pandemic and how they support individuals with NRPF status, and future plans.

Last updated on hub: 13 July 2020

Children’s social care guide to keeping families safe from domestic abuse throughout the COVID-19 emergency


This guidance is for professionals working in children’s social care including children's social workers, family practitioners and early help teams during the COVID-19 crisis. The guide is structured around the following areas: coordination and multi-agency working; risk assessment and risk management; safety planning; children and young people; forced marriage, ‘honour’-based violence and abuse; perpetrators; child or adolescent to parent violence and abuse. There is an appendix with a list of resources, links and additional reading, including a list of helplines for both adult and child victims and those perpetrating abuse.

Last updated on hub: 30 June 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) supplementary national violence against women guidance

Scottish Government

This supplementary guidance aims to ensure a sustainable, joined-up approach to safeguarding the needs of women, children and young people experiencing VAWG during COVID-19 is embedded at a local strategic level. The guide aims to ensure local decision-makers are aware of the suite of COVID-19 guidance that has been developed nationally and that may be relevant to supporting women, children and young people affected by VAWG, and to tackling perpetrators of that abuse; highlight risks to women, children and young people affected by VAWG in the short term (during periods of lockdown and other social restrictions), medium term (as restrictions are lifted and we move towards recovery), and long term (as partners transition to a ‘new normal’); and support local decision-makers to identify short-, medium- and long-terms actions to mitigate risks as a result of COVID-19 and begin to support early planning for the post-pandemic period in order to ensure recovery needs are recognised and addressed at a strategic level.

Last updated on hub: 13 July 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19): support for victims of domestic abuse

Home Office

Advice and guidance for those who are experiencing or feel at risk of domestic abuse during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The guidance provides information and links to organisations providing help and support. It includes information for professionals and those who are worried that they may hurt someone. The guidance also explains how the government is working with the charity sector and the police to ensure that support services remain open during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Last updated on hub: 01 April 2020

COVID-19 and violence against women: what the health sector/system can do

World Health Organization

Violence against women remains a major global public health and women’s health threat during emergencies. This short document provides some key information about what the health sector and individuals can do during to prevent and address violence against women during the COVID-19 pandemic. It includes tips for coping with stress at home and actions to take if family members are experiencing violence.

Last updated on hub: 29 June 2020

COVID-19 and violence against women: What the health sector/system can do

World Health Organization

Briefing that covers how COVID-19 can exacerbate risks of violence for women. Also covers what can be done to address violence against women during the COVID-19 response and tips for coping with stress at home and actions to take if you or your family members are experiencing violence.

Last updated on hub: 08 June 2020

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