Survey finds healthcare services are missing opportunities to support domestic abuse victims

Survivors say London’s healthcare providers are missing opportunities to get life-saving support to victims of domestic abuse, a new study suggests.

In a survey for the ‘We only do bones here’ report by SafeLives, a UK-wide domestic abuse charity, survivors of domestic abuse detail missed opportunities to enquire about and support victims.

My GP told me a few months ago that he didn’t know if there were services in the Borough for domestic abuse and that he would call me the next day. He didn’t call for a month.

Survivor, Barking and Dagenham

Only one in five victims of domestic abuse calls the police, but many more will be speaking to their GP or seeking medical help at A&E. That’s why it’s crucial for healthcare services to respond quickly and effectively to patients who may show signs of abuse.

With the London elections just over a month away, we are calling on political candidates to recognise the urgent need for increased domestic abuse services in healthcare settings and the potential they have to save lives.

CEO of SafeLives, Suzanne Jacob OBE

Health settings are trusted environments, used by everyone. Because of this, they are places that we can reach those from every background and walk of life subjected to domestic abuse, especially those who may not feel confident seeking help from other professionals. That is why it is critical to ensure awareness about domestic abuse is embedded into the safeguarding policy and practices of all health settings.

Domestic Abuse Commissioner Nicole Jacobs

'We only do bones here'

We only do bones here’ maps the domestic abuse response within health settings in the capital and makes recommendations for the most effective means of securing a whole-health response which truly meets the needs of all victims and survivors of domestic abuse.

Read the report

Notes to Editors

R, a survivor of domestic abuse whose case study is included in the report is available for comment, though identity protection will be required.

Jessica Asato, Head of Public Affairs and Policy and one of the authors of the report is also available for media requests.

Medina Johnson, CEO of IRISi which provides the IRIS Advocate Educator intervention for domestic abuse survivors in 16 London boroughs is also available for interview.

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