Domestic abuse practitioners including Idvas (Independent domestic violence advisors), outreach workers and children’s workers are crucial to ensuring adult and child victims of abuse are supported to become safe, well and rebuild their lives. As the Domestic Abuse Bill makes progress through Parliament, we are calling on MPs from all parties to support amendments which ensure all adult, teen and child victims get access to the support they need while perpetrators receive interventions to change their behaviour, backed by sufficient funding for those services.
Our 2019 Practitioner Survey found that adult and child victims face a postcode lottery in accessing specialist domestic abuse support. For example, we are short of nearly 300 Idvas who are needed to support survivors who are at the most risk of serious harm or murder. Meanwhile, for those victims and survivors who require early intervention or recovery support, outreach provision remains patchy and inconsistent. Specialist children’s support has been declining with evidence showing that the percentage of domestic abuse services providing dedicated support to children and young people fell from 62% in 2010 to 52% in 2017. Young people experience some of the highest rates of domestic abuse, at high levels of severity. Despite this, almost one in five police force areas have no specialist support for young people experiencing domestic abuse. Finally, fewer than 1% of perpetrators receive an intervention to change their behaviour. A lack of funding for perpetrator programmes was identified as the biggest issue by frontline practitioners.
We're calling on the Government to invest in the full range of domestic abuse support services – for adult, teen and child victims and for perpetrators of abuse. The Government has proposed to give local authorities in England a duty to provide accommodation-based support as part of the Domestic Abuse Bill. We think this doesn't go far enough: the statutory duty should be extended to cover the full range of support for adult, teen and child victim as well as for perpetrators of abuse. We also believe that it’s time for domestic abuse services to be properly funded. The Government’s own figures show that domestic abuse costs society £66bn a year – it is imperative that frontline services are sufficiently resourced to provide the full range of services that victims require to get safe and well.
What you can do
If you agree that every victim, survivor and child deserves support that meets their needs, and want to join us in celebrating the amazing work of frontline domestic abuse professionals, here's how you can get involved:
Show your support on social media
- If you work with victims and survivors of domestic abuse in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, share this graphic to stand up and be counted
- If you aren't a domestic abuse professional but want to show your support for fully funded services in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, share this graphic
- Add our campaign frame to your Facebook profile pic: just click 'update' on your profile picture, click 'add frame' and search #Invest2EndAbuse