COVID-19 resources on domestic violence

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Guidance for housing providers during COVID-19

Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance

Guidance for housing providers on how they can offer safe responses to their tenants and service users where it is known they are living with domestic abuse or where new concerns arise. Housing providers are uniquely placed to access people in their homes and their response to domestic abuse is therefore even more important during the COVID-19 crisis and lockdown. The guidance covers: spotting the signs; availability of specialist domestic abuse support (national and local services and Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARACs)); raising awareness with all tenants; offering a helpful response to survivors of domestic abuse; advice for residents who are worried about a neighbour, friend or relatives; taking action against perpetrators; supporting staff and colleagues; pets; and other national domestic abuse support services.

Last updated on hub: 30 June 2020

Responding to the challenges of COVID-19: guidance for practitioners working with domestic abuse perpetrators

Respect

This document offers advice to professionals and practitioners who are working with domestic abuse perpetrators during the COVID-19 crisis. It is based on the learning from conversations with accredited services working with perpetrators and victims of domestic abuse and national and international experts. The document recommends that all practitioners follow their own organisation’s health and safety guidance, safeguarding procedures and business and contingency protocols. When considering any changes to existing service provision, a set of principles, outlined in the Respect Service Standard, remain important. They are: safety first; do not harm; the system matters; support for the staff. The document also signposts to additional resources, advice and support services.

Last updated on hub: 30 June 2020

Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on violence against women and girls

VAWG Helpdesk

A review of the evidence on how the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic – and similar epidemics – might impact on violence against women and girls (VAWG). Evidence on the impact of the outbreak is still at a very early stage and not yet well documented, given that it begun in January 2020. However, some of the early indications are that there are several areas where women and girls are likely to be at increased risk of violence. These include: increased risk of domestic violence; increased risk of workplace violence in the health sector; increased risk of racial and sexual harassment (both online and offline); increased risk of abuse and exploitation for vulnerable women workers; increased risk of VAWG in emergency settings; and increased risk of sexual exploitation and violence by state officials and armed guards. Experience from past epidemics suggests the importance of a ‘twin track’ approach, combining support to organisations working directly with survivors and integrating VAWG into sectoral responses.

Last updated on hub: 30 June 2020

Guidance for Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Programmes: Covid-19 challenges

Respect

This guidance paper helps organisations working with perpetrators and victims of domestic abuse overcome the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. All organisations face problems with service delivery, continuity of staffing and the capacity to support and work with clients. The guide explores how to continue to deliver programmes and support safely; service delivery via phone and video-calling; strategies for calming, de-escalating and containing abusive behaviour; check-ins and case management; supporting delivery practitioners professionally and emotionally; and dealing with new clients.

Last updated on hub: 30 June 2020

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

SafeLives

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

Staying safe during COVID-19: guidance for practitioners working with those who harm

SafeLives

Guidance to help practitioners working with perpetrators of domestic violence during the COVID-19 crisis. The document explores: how to ensure clients get support from family and friends; self-care; general safety planning; structured strategy to help clients de-escalate situations before they become violent or abusive; and supporting support workers.

Last updated on hub: 30 June 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

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: understanding inequalities in mental health during the pandemic

Centre for Mental Health

This briefing paper explores the mental health inequalities that are associated with the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK. It finds that the virus and the lockdown are putting greater pressure on groups and communities whose mental health was already poorer and more precarious. These include people living with mental health problems, whose access to services has been interrupted; people who live with both mental health problems and long term physical conditions that put them at greater risk of the virus; older adults who are both susceptible to the virus themselves and much more likely than others to lose partners and peers; women and children exposed to trauma and violence at home during lockdown; and people from the ethnic groups where the prevalence of COVID-19 has been highest and outcomes have been the worst, notably people from Black British, Black African, Bangladeshi and Pakistani backgrounds. The paper calls on the Government to take urgent action to address race inequality in mental health, including the urgent need for funding for organisations working in communities that have been affected most deeply by the pandemic. It calls for action to ensure people with mental health problems have access to food and medicine as well as continued financial safety-nets for those at greatest risk from the virus. And it calls for longer term action, including to build on the positive steps that have already been taken to prevent homelessness and improve the benefits system.

Last updated on hub: 29 June 2020

Pandemics and violence against women and children

Center for Global Development

Times of economic uncertainty, civil unrest, and disaster are linked to a myriad of risk factors for increased violence against women and children (VAW/C). Pandemics are no exception. In fact, the regional or global nature and associated fear and uncertainty associated with pandemics provide an enabling environment that may exacerbate or spark diverse forms of violence. Understanding mechanisms underlying these dynamics are important for crafting policy and program responses to mitigate adverse effects. Based on existing published and grey literature, we document nine main (direct and indirect) pathways linking pandemics and VAW/C, through effects of (on): (1) economic insecurity and poverty-related stress, (2) quarantines and social isolation, (3) disaster and conflict-related unrest and instability, (4) exposure to exploitative relationships due to changing demographics, (5) reduced health service availability and access to first responders, (6) inability of women to temporarily escape abusive partners, (7) virus-specific sources of violence, (8) exposure to violence and coercion in response efforts, and (9) violence perpetrated against health care workers. We also suggest additional pathways with limited or anecdotal evidence likely to effect smaller subgroups. Based on these mechanisms, we suggest eight policy and program responses for action by governments, civil society, international and community-based organizations. Finally, as research linking pandemics directly to diverse forms of VAW/C is scarce, we lay out a research agenda comprising three main streams, to better (1) understand the magnitude of the problem, (2) elucidate mechanisms and linkages with other social and economic factors and (3) inform intervention and response options. We hope this paper can be used by researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to help inform further evidence generation and policy action while situating VAW/C within the broader need for intersectional gender- and feminist-informed pandemic response.

Last updated on hub: 25 June 2020