Pathfinder is a pilot project run by a consortium made up of SafeLives, ImkaanAgainst Violence and Abuse (AVA)Identification and Referral to Improve Safety (IRISi) and Standing Together Against Domestic Violence (STADV). The Pathfinder aims to establish comprehensive health practice in relation to domestic abuse and wider issues related to Violence Against Women & Girls in acute hospital trusts, mental health trusts and community-based IRIS programmes in GP practices.

The Pathfinder:

  • Works with health stakeholders across 8 UK sites to: identify and share good practice; turn guidance into practice; provide interventions where needed and link parts of the health economy to each other.
  • Links local specialist services to health for a coordinated community response.
  • Shares learning & guiding national dissemination of good practice to inform future policy work and data collection.
  • Is developing a publicly available “toolkit” which will enable others across the country to follow a roadmap to achieve a model response to domestic abuse in health settings.

Why is domestic abuse a health issue?

  • 75% of domestic violence results in physical injury or mental health consequences to women
  • Domestic abuse is the leading cause of morbidity for women aged 19-44, greater than cancer, war and road traffic accidents
  • There is extensive contact between women and primary care clinicians with 90% of all female patients consulting their GP over a five-year period
  • 1 in 8 of all suicides and suicide attempts by women in the UK are due to domestic abuse
  • 80% of women in a violent relationship seek help from health services, usually GPs, at least once and this may be their first or only contact with professionals
  • 30% of domestic abuse starts/escalates during pregnancy
  • 1 in 4 women in contact with mental health services are likely to be experiencing domestic abuse when you see them
  • 51,355 NHS staff are likely to have experienced abuse in the past 12 months
  • Read A Cry for Health, SafeLives' report on the response to domestic abuse by health providers.

The Pathfinder project is working across eight pilot sites:

Pilot Site 1 - Blackpool​

Pilot Site 2 - Exeter & North Devon

Pilot Site 3 - Haringey & Enfield​

Pilot Site 4 - Somerset​

Pilot Site 5 - Three Councils (Kensington & Chelsea, Westminster and Hammersmith & Fulham)​

Pilot Site 6 - Camden & Islington​

Pilot Site 7 - North Staffordshire

Pilot Site 8 - Southampton


Week 1: General Practitioner (GP) profile

Week 2: Hospital profile

Week 3: Mental health profile