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

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

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

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

COVID-19: guidance on isolation for domestic abuse safe-accommodation settings

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

Guidance for providers of safe accommodation with support for victims of domestic abuse and their children. The guidance provides advice for staff and employers on managing isolation for clients and their children under 18 if they, or someone else in their accommodation, show symptoms of the coronavirus (COVID-19) or is confirmed as having the disease. The guidance covers: specialist refuge and safe accommodation (with shared space); dispersed, self-contained accommodation with support move-on accommodation; and properties within Sanctuary Schemes or with other enhanced security measures.

Last updated on hub: 06 April 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