In order to help reach the 4 out of 5 victims who never contact the police and provide an opportunity to save money through earlier identification, SafeLives recommends:
- National policy-makers need to prioritise domestic abuse as a health issue, incentivising hospitals with a seven-day a week Idva service, alongside increased support for children of victims, and to ensure NICE guidelines – that every person presenting with indicators of abuse must be asked – are followed consistently.
- Commissioners should have a strategy to address domestic abuse in a range of health settings including hospitals, GP surgeries and mental health services. This needs to include Idva services in hospitals and beyond, they must ensure this provision is sustainable and effectively supported, and they must fund services in a way that provides victims with long-term support in and outside of hospital. Victims need ongoing support from other services once they have exited the Idva service.
- Hospital Idva services and hospitals should embed the Idva service within the hospital, ensuring that it is visible across departments and that there are clear referral pathways for staff. Ensure that NICE guidelines are being followed consistently, and involve the Idva in delivering domestic abuse training to all hospital staff.
- Non hospital-based Idva services should seek funding to extend your existing service into hospitals, and ensure that referral routes are established and known to health professionals across departments.