Safe at Home in Scotland

COVID-19 has presented new challenges for everyone, but particularly for adults and children living with domestic abuse, and the professionals working hard to support them. As we start considering and planning for what post-lockdown might look like, we need to remember that home is still not a safe space for many.

We are engaging with domestic abuse services and other professionals across Scotland who are working to support adult and child victims and survivors of domestic abuse. We want to hear about your needs and collectively start thinking about longer-term recovery and resilience planning. 

We are running six monthly engagement sessions with specialist and mainstream services who are working to support adult and child victims and survivors of domestic abuse in Scotland, both in the third sector and in statutory agencies. The sessions will allow us to share practice, voice questions and draw on the expertise of colleagues in the sector, as we look to COVID-19 recovery planning. 

We will be updating this page regularly with the key themes and findings that emerge from this call. This information will also be shared with the Scottish Government, COSLA (The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities) and other stakeholders to inform their planning and support for the sector going forward. Our aim is to add to and complement work happening at local and national level.

Domestic Abuse Network

The invite list for our engagement meetings is currently full.  Due to the level of interest, we have had to limit numbers and prioritise frontline domestic abuse services. However, we also want to ensure there are channels for those unable to join to feed in. To make sure we capture the views of the wider network, including practitioners and strategic leads outside the meetings, we have set up an engagement form. This is an opportunity for you to feed into and share the findings from this work, either as an individual or on behalf of your service or VAW partnership.  

Key themes and findings 

We'll be uploading key themes and findings that emerge from each of our engagement meetings. 

Meeting 1: June 2020

In the first meeting, we explored the challenges and needs of services as we prepare to move out of lockdown.

Read the briefing paper.

Guidance and resources

For people experiencing domestic abuse

It's important to know that you are not alone. Even if you are unable to leave your home at the moment, you can still access support through Scotland's Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage helpline on 0800 027 1234. 

The Scottish Government have issued signposting to support people in Scotland, as well as guidance for those leaving home due to abuse.

In this podcast created by the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit, Jen Douglas, SafeLives’ Engagement Lead, discusses how to get support if you, or someone you know, needs it.

Resources for parents and children

Domestic abuse impacts the whole family, especially when schools are closed and children are at home. The Scottish Courts have issued guidance on child contact orders and you can read the Scottish Government's guidance on childcare provision for key workers. 

For family, friends, neighbours and colleagues 

Through our #ReachIn campaign, we are sharing information and resources for anyone in the community who wants to know about safely checking on someone they are worried about. In this blog, Nicola, a Scottish survivor, explains her own experience of the support that was available around her.

For professionals 

The Scottish Government and COSLA have produced COVID-19 Supplementary National Violence Against Women Guidance, to ensure that collaborative responses to women, children and young people affected by VAWG continue to be prioritised as part of the wider strategic response to addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Scottish Government have released a Justice Analytical Services report on domestic abuse and VAWG during COVID-19 lockdown, for the period 30/03/20 - 22/05/20

For police

In this podcast, Lucy McDonald, Scotland Programme Lead at SafeLives, speaks to Assistant Chief Constable Duncan Sloan, of Police Scotland, about how the police in Scotland are responding to domestic abuse during the current crisis. 

Download the transcript

You can also visit our dedicated COVID-19 and Domestic Abuse webpage to see our full range of guidance and resources for professionals, victims and survivors across the UK.  

To keep up to date with our latest work and findings in Scotland, please sign up to our Scottish newsletter

For more information about our work in Scotland, please contact scotland@safelives.org.uk