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COVID-19 guidance, policy and research for professionals

Resources for people working with adults and children experiencing domestic abuse

COVID-19 continues to impact frontline domestic abuse services. Not only is there an increased risk to clients but professionals also face significant challenges in providing an effective response. 

We have brought together a range of resources and guidance for professionals – whether frontline practitioners or those working in broader services – to support you in helping adults and children who are experiencing abuse. 

Find out more about:

Join our community

The SafeLives Community is there for anyone working with people who are experiencing, or have experienced, domestic abuse – whether frontline professionals, part of a Marac or people who work around domestic abuse in any other capacity. Join the community to connect with other professionals and access the latest resources. 

You can also sign up to our newsletter for regular updates and guidance about domestic abuse and coronavirus. 

Latest research and guidance on COVID-19 and domestic abuse

Thank you to all Service Managers and Marac representatives who have completed our recent surveys about COVID-19. We use this information to improve our services and to feed into Government consultations, helping to inform policy. 

You may also be interested in our guidance for multi-agency forums (including Maracs) on responding to the challenges of COVID-19. 

Support and wellbeing for domestic abuse practitioners

Frontline practitioners are facing increased pressures during this second wave and lockdown. Not only have workloads increased, but in many cases the complexity and level of violence has also increased. The additional pressures of home schooling, having to work from home and a loss of normal coping strategies mean there is a greater risk of low morale, stress and anxiety.

We secured additional funding from the Home Office to provide a support and wellbeing offer to frontline domestic abuse practitioners in England and Wales – with thanks to Rock Pool, our partners in developing and supporting the groups. 

As part of this offer, we will be running 2-hour support and wellbeing sessions for up to 10 participants. These will provide a safe and reflective space with practical tools to support wellbeing and resilience. Register your interest

You may also find this webinar on balancing working from home and supporting clients useful. 

Podcasts and webinars   

Listen to our podcast

Our Spotlight podcast shines a light on the issues around domestic abuse. Recent episodes include:

You can also listen to the whole series on our Soundcloud.

Watch our webinars

We have produced a number of webinars for professionals on:

Supporting young people

Young people may be experiencing increased vulnerability due to isolation, negative impacts on their wellbeing and practical issues such as access to phones and data during the global pandemic. 

Working with perpetrators   

You and your clients will be feeling the effects of the situation we find ourselves in, particularly if you are currently facilitating some form of behaviour change work. Read our guidance for practitioners working with those who harm.

Download the core engagement pack from the Engage intervention, providing strategies to support self-management of behaviour.

Access resources from Drive

The Respect Phoneline and Drive have launched an instant webchat service where you can ask a Drive Expert Advisor any questions about working with high-risk, high-harm perpetrators of domestic abuse. You can also email info@drive.org.uk for advice.

Drive’s professional portal contains webinars and guidance for anyone working with perpetrators during COVID-19 and beyond. Email info@drive.org.uk for the link and password.

Child to parent violence

Oasis Kent and My CWA have produced resources to help professionals responding to adolescent to parent violence. 

The Holes in the Wall blog, by Helen Bonnick, is a great resource for learning more about child to parent violence. 

Guidance for professionals working in other sectors

Social care

Read our guidance for Children’s Social Care professionals, Early Help teams and anyone working with families where there is domestic abuse during this time.

Housing

The Domestic Abuse and Housing Alliance (DAHA) has produced COVID-19 guidance and resources for housing providers.

Standing Together has created domestic abuse and sexual violence guidance for homelessness settings, created in partnership with St Mungo’s, SHP and FLIC and supported by Homelesslink.

Health 

Read our guidance for safe enquiry about domestic abuse in virtual health settings, created by SafeLives and IRISi with input and endorsement by partners in the VAWG sector. 

Together with IRISi we have created guidance for NHS volunteers.

Standing Together have produced a number of COVID-19 resources for acute health professionals.

IRISi have released guidance for:

Guidance for mental health professionals is available from AVA.

Watch a webinar on the health response to COVID-19, hosted by the World Organisation for Family Doctors and featuring IRISi CEO, Medina Johnson and Professor Gene Feder

Councils

The Local Government Association has issued guidance for councils tackling domestic abuse during the pandemic

Schools

The Operation Encompass Teachers’ Helpline has been put in place to provide school leaders and staff with consultation guidance, information and support when dealing with vulnerable children experiencing domestic abuse in the home. Call 0845 646 0890 Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 10.30am. 

Advice for employers

When home is not a safe place, working remotely may be particularly difficult. We've produced advice for employers about what you can do during the COVID-19 pandemic to support anyone who may be experiencing domestic abuse. Read more. 

Further reading and resources 

You may also find the following resources useful: