COVID-19 resources on domestic violence

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Responding to the ‘Shadow Pandemic’: practitioner views on the nature of and responses to violence against women in Victoria, Australia during the COVID-19 restrictions

Monash University

This report presents the findings from a survey to capture the voices and experiences of practitioners responding to women experiencing violence during the COVID-19 shutdown in Victoria, Australia. With more people confined to their homes to reduce the community spread of COVID-19, there is a greater risk of violence against women and children. The analysis of practitioner responses to the survey found that the pandemic has led to: an increase in the frequency and severity of violence against women (VAW); an increase in the complexity of women’s needs; for 42 per cent of respondents, an increase in first-time family violence reporting by women; enhanced tactics to achieve social isolation and forms of violence specifically relating to the threat and risk of COVID-19 infection; for many women experiencing violence during the lockdown period, there was less ability to seek help; service innovations have occurred across Victoria to enhance accessibility and effectiveness of service delivery during the COVID-19 easing of restrictions and recovery phase; numerous challenges to providing support, undertaking effective risk assessment and carrying out safety planning during the COVID-19 shutdown phase. The research also draws attention to the wellbeing considerations for practitioners working remotely to support women experiencing violence during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the need to develop worker supports as restrictions are eased and a period of recovery is entered.

Last updated on hub: 24 June 2020

Domestic abuse: the shadow pandemic

Social Care Institute for Excellence

Nimal Jude, Practice Development Manager at the Social Care Institute for Excellence, shares some insights about the extent to which domestic abuse is increasing during lockdown. The blog suggests that anyone can be involved and that positive steps in prevention is vital. Also suggests that well-evidenced perpetrator programmes, such as the DRIVE programme that employ a whole systems approach and coordinated multi-agency response need to be put in place. [Published 27 May 2020]

Last updated on hub: 22 June 2020

Protecting and safeguarding older people: Covid-19 information pack

Older People's Commissioner for Wales

This pack provides a range of useful information and resources about keeping older people safe in Wales – including how to identify older people who may be at risk, and contact details for key organisations that can provide crucial help and support.

Last updated on hub: 17 June 2020

Supporting ‘off-radar’ children and young people who are at risk of violence/abuse in their household: Part 1 (interim report)

Survivors’ Voices

This survivor-led report contains relevant possible actions to support children who are 'off-radar' (unknown to any statutory services) during and post pandemic 'lockdown' periods. It provides an initial collation and thematic analysis of the results of a survivor-led and rapid-response survey. This was targeted at people who had experience of being abused as children whilst unknown to safeguarding or support services, in order to capture the wisdom of lived experience regarding what practical actions may help reach this population. Actions and recommendations cover a range of topics and thematic areas, which are grouped into the settings to which they apply. These include: schools, nurseries, and childcare; other statutory services; youth organisations and other voluntary agencies and services that work with young people; government and national and international agencies; communities and families. The report suggests that the overwhelming consensus is that there is a need for a major awareness-raising and information campaign using TV/media and a variety of social and other media; and to develop ways to ensure children and young people can communicate with those who can help, including apps, a free phone helpline and web-based links.

Last updated on hub: 17 June 2020

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on child welfare: domestic abuse

National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children

This briefing uses insight from NSPCC helpline contacts and Childline counselling sessions to highlight the impact of domestic abuse on children and young people during the coronavirus pandemic. Domestic abuse is any type of controlling, bullying, threatening or violent behaviour between people who are, or have been, in a relationship. Between 23 March and 17 May 2020 the NSPCC helpline received 1,500 contacts from adults worried about the impact of domestic abuse on children, and Childline delivered over 500 counselling sessions to children and young people who were worried about domestic abuse. The key themes of these contacts include: reduced access to support networks; and lockdown bringing domestic abuse into sharp focus – making it harder to speak out, making it more difficult to leave, drinking during lockdown, exploiting fears about the coronavirus, young people worried about other family members.

Last updated on hub: 16 June 2020

Learn on the go podcasts for social workers

Podcast series where the latest research, theories and practice issues, and look at what they mean for social workers are discussed. Recent episodes cover topics relevant to the pandemic including safeguarding, remote supervision, The Coronavirus Act and Care Act easements, loneliness and isolation, self care and domestic abuse.

Last updated on hub: 09 June 2020

Responding to the challenges of COVID-19: guidance for multi-agency forums (including Maracs)

SafeLives

The potential threat of COVID-19 to the health and safety of frontline staff and service users poses a real and immediate challenge for safeguarding families at risk of domestic abuse. This document provides advice to help multi-agency forums, including Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (Marcs), be flexible and respond to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. It covers advice on using virtual forums; managing meetings; assessing additional risk posed to victims of domestic abuse and their children; and safety planning to maximising the opportunity for safe communication between vulnerable families and services. Version date: 19 March 2020.

Last updated on hub: 08 June 2020

Free webinar series - supporting survivors during COVID-19

Solace

Solace have developed a series of 4 webinars to share expertise and best practice from across the sector, to help professionals across the UK better understand how they can continue to provide support to survivors. The webinar titles include: Understanding domestic abuse in the context of COVID-19; Assessing risk during COVID-19; Safety planning during COVID-19; Supporting survivors to flee during COVID-19.

Last updated on hub: 08 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

Service response to domestic abuse during COVID-19: ESSS Outline

The Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services

This evidence summary seeks to address the following question relating to domestic abuse: How are services currently responding to domestic abuse during COVID-19? The summary largely draws on the developing guidelines and recommendations that statutory and third sector organisations are producing with regards to domestic abuse and COVID-19.

Last updated on hub: 05 June 2020