A Cry for Health - Why we must invest in domestic abuse services in hospitals

Report: A Cry for Health

Why we must invest in domestic abuse services in hospitals

SafeLives calls on every hospital in England and Wales to have specialist domestic abuse support onsite. Health providers must be part of the long-term solution to tackle domestic abuse.

9 out of 10 victims reported improvements in safety following an intervention by a hospital IdvaThe findings of SafeLives' research, which provides evidence from over 4,000 victims supported in hospital and community settings, show that we are missing opportunities to identify victims of domestic abuse – particularly the most vulnerable – and that locating a team of Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (Idvas) within a hospital is a key way to address this.

SafeLives is calling for hospital-based Idvas to be integrated as part of a whole-system approach to support which include community based specialist domestic abuse services, mental health and health services. The charity believes that this provides a way of reaching the 4 out of 5 victims who never contact the police as well as providing an opportunity to save money through earlier identification.  

Blog: Diana Barran, SafeLives founder on the importance of our research

Blog: Kathy Bonney, Head of Safeguarding at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, on the impact of a Hospital Idva

SafeLives' research contributed to the Department of Health's resource for health professionals on responding to domestic abuse.

Take action

We all have a part to play in changing the conversation. Here's what you can do:  

  • Read the policy report: A Cry for Health
  • Share the page safelives.org.uk/cryforhealth on your social networks
  • Join the conversation on Twitter #CryForHealth

Read the full report: A Cry for Health

Read the published research article

Read a safeguarding report from East Lancashire NHS Trust, demonstrating the impact of their Hospital Idva. From the report:

'Since the appointment of the Hospital Idva in September 2018, and the Isva in February 2019, we have seen an increase in the number of referrals each quarter. This is evident of increased awareness of the role as more clinical staff are recognising domestic abuse and sexual abuse and making more referrals. The opportunity for clinical staff to work alongside the Hospital Idva and Isva with their patients is of great value as our approach to safeguarding within the Trust is to have a strong presence to support experiential learning. Already this is evident, and our intention to replicate the success of the Idva post with the role of the Isva is apparent.'

Get in touch

It was launched as the first research project of its kind in the UK. Find out how it explored the impact of co-locating Idva services in hospitals.

How co-locating Idva services within a hospital setting can significantly improve health and wellbeing outcomes for victims of domestic abuse. 

For national policy-makers, Idva services (hospital and non-hospital-based), hospital staff and Commissioners.

The job of an Independent Domestic Violence Advisor can be varied. Find out what their core responsibilities are.

Organisations in support of more investment for domestic abuse services in hospitals

Why we need domestic abuse advisors in maternity units.

Why we must invest in domestic abuse services in hospitals

A word from our CEO: "There is no ‘us’ and ‘them’. Only us."

So many wonderful people have contributed to this report for which we are extremely grateful. We couldn't have done it without you.