Domestic abuse (including domestic violence)
What is domestic abuse?
The cross-government definition of domestic violence and abuse is:
any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to:
The NSPCC identifies the behaviours that may constitute domestic abuse:
- sexual abuse and rape;
- punching, kicking, cutting, hitting with an object;
- withholding money or preventing someone from earning money;
- taking control over aspects of someone’s everyday life, which can include where they go and what they wear;
- not letting someone leave the house;
- reading emails, text messages or letters; or
- threatening to kill or harm them, a partner, another family member or pet.
They also highlight the fact that witnessing domestic abuse is child abuse and that children whose lives are touched it are likely to be experiencing other types of abuse too.
Training for school staff
Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid (BSWAID) delivered a one day bespoke training session for identified leads in school to roll out to all staff. In addition, the Solihull e-training package tool. This is also a useful resource for new staff to complete as part of their induction and to refresh all staff’s awareness of domestic abuse. Below are details of how to access the e-learning training:
Potential school support
In order for schools and settings to ensure they are responding effectively to domestic abuse a health check of standards can be found on the LSCB website.
Domestic violence and abuse procedures are within appendix 10.
The Barnardo’s Domestic Violence Risk Identification Matrix (DVRIM) has been adopted by Solihull Local Authority as a screening tool to identify risk of domestic abuse in relation to children and young people. Education providers should use this tool in their work to identify and assess pupils at risk due to domestic abuse. (Appendix 1) For further guidance on the use of this tool please refer to the Solihull LSCB domestic abuse procedures: Domestic violence and abuse procedures, within appendix 10
The Domestic Abuse, Stalking and Harassment and Honour Based Violence (DASH, 2009) Risk Identification and Assessment and Management Model is a screening tool to be used to assess levels of risk with adults experiencing domestic abuse.
Education providers should use this document where they are working with an adult or young person experiencing domestic abuse.
For further guidance on the use of this tool please refer to the Solihull LSCB domestic abuse procedures: Domestic violence and abuse procedures, within appendix 10:
Following the notification or disclosure of domestic abuse by a child/young person/parent to an adult in school, the following actions should be considered:
- A MASH referral may be necessary in order to safeguard the child/young person
- An Early Help assessment may be appropriate for some C/YP in order to meet need.
- Where the abuse is happening within a teenage relationship, use the resources published by the ATL and NSPCC for guiding professionals and working with the young person to safety plan
- Contact Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid for support and advice
- School staff may find it helpful to read the SMBC leaflet ‘Challenging the myths about domestic abuse’
Curriculum (universal provision through planned PSHE and Science)
- High quality PSHE which includes appropriate learning around safe and healthy relationships and sources of help/support
- This is Abuse Campaign materials can be used with secondary aged pupils to raise awareness of abuse within teenage relationships
- Opportunities within a range of curriculum areas to explore positive relationships e.g. literacy texts
- Opportunities to learn about and develop ‘protective behaviours’ i.e. listening to what your body is telling you when something feels wrong, no problem is too big, small or awful to be shared with a trusted adult
Involving other agencies and signposting
Solihull Children’s Services
Multi-agency safeguarding hub (MASH) 0121 788 4333
Out of Hours (emergency duty team) 0121 605 6060
Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council
Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council advice regarding domestic abuse.
There is information for professionals about training opportunities, multi-agency procedures and referral forms for MARAC and MASH. There are also a number of guides to supporting friends and family who are experiencing unsafe relationships.
Barnardos aims to alleviate the long-term effects of domestic violence on children through counselling and family support services.
Tel: 0121 550 5271 / 6
Support for Parents
Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid (BSWAid)
Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid has been supporting women and children affected by domestic violence, rape and sexual assault. They provide:
- A helpline
- Community-based and central drop-in services
- Safe, emergency accommodation through four refuges
- Outreach support in the community
- Help with criminal and civil legal proceedings
- Family support
- Training for professionals including the Police, Heath, Social Care and Education
- Awareness raising work with children and young people
Helpline on 0808 800 0028
Ryland House, 44-48 – Bristol Street, Birmingham – B5 7AA
Tel: 0121 685 8687
Victim Support helps anyone affected by crime; victims and witnesses, friends, family and any other people involved. They are an independent charity; people can talk to them whether or not they have reported the crime to the police. If desired, they can provide support without the involvement of the criminal justice system, they won’t contact them about those seeking help unless they feel someone is at risk.
Helpline: 0845 30 30 900
The Key Project
The Key Project provides support to Black Asian Minority Ethnic and Refugee women children and men who are living in the community and experiencing domestic violence and abuse. The project is run by Panahghar who recognise that victims and survivors from Black, Asian and minority communities face additional obstacles, barriers and pressures which can make the effects of domestic violence and abuse more difficult to cope with.
Tel: 0800 055 6519 24 hours a day
Updates and changes
These pages are updated regularly and should be used as the main source of information. Printed versions should be used with care as they can become out of date.