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Maybe you followed the tweets from our conference on the #safelives hashtag last week, or maybe you’ve read about our report in the Guardian or seen us on Channel 4 News. Maybe you heard the brilliant Rebecca Coombs tell Good Morning Britain about how the police and health services didn’t get her the help she needed early enough to escape abuse – which led to her ending up in hospital.

If you have, maybe you’re wondering what it is we need to do to make the slogan a reality. We can all agree – “it’s time to get it right first time – for every victim and every family” – but what does that mean in practice?

As we changed from Caada to SafeLives, we did not abandon some of what made Caada special – our detailed practical guidance on what a better response to domestic abuse looks like on the ground.

So we’ve got two new guidance papers to help you get it right first time.

The first guidance is tips for frontline professionals who aren’t domestic violence specialists. You can use it right now, or amend it to make it work for your local area. At its core, it has three elements:

  • How you spot domestic abuse
  • Asking the question
  • Deciding what to do when someone discloses

We hope doctors, nurses, midwives and other health professionals find it useful. It’s also written for teachers, advice workers, homelessness and housing workers and the range of other professionals who work day-to-day with families and children. You don’t have to be an expert in domestic abuse to use it.

The second guidance is for managers, commissioners and domestic violence co-ordinators. This runs through our top ten tips for what to do in your area or organisation to spot victims and children living with abuse, and get them the right help faster. 

There are evidence-based interventions that can help – like putting Iris into GP surgeries or setting up a hospital-based Idva team. And some of the ideas are simple – like asking every victim who comes forward in a particular day or week what opportunities services in your area missed to get them help sooner. That snapshot will help you understand what you need to do.

The guidance is an introduction to what you should be thinking about – but if you want more info, or to talk through anything about how to make it work in your organisation or area, please get in touch with us on info@safelives.org.uk.

So, there you have it. Some things change, and some things remain the same. We’ve a new name, but what’s not changed is our desire to end domestic abuse. We’ll always stand alongside all those across the country that are passionate about it too. If you want practical guidance to help you get better, and not just the same-old same-old, you know who to ask.