Recognising the signs of domestic abuse

AROUND 110 Health Visitors and School Nurses from the Southern Heath and Social Care Trust have attended training on domestic abuse, stalking, harassment and honour based violence.

Friday, 7th December 2012, 3:30 pm

The training was delivered by the Clinical Education Centre in partnership with the Trust’s Domestic Violence Partnership. It showed staff how to recognise the signs of domestic violence in families and outlined their roles and responsibilities in assessing the risks if they suspect abuse.

David Douglas, Assistant Director, Family Support and Safeguarding for the Southern Trust stated:

“Domestic abuse is a feature of around 70% of referrals made to children’s social services. Whilst women and children are the main victims, men can also be affected.

“Domestic abuse can affect anyone irrespective of age, race, sexuality, or ability and can be perpetrated by a partner, young person, sibling or anyone related to the victim.

“As health and social care professionals we must be able to recognise the signs of domestic abuse and be able to offer the appropriate support to the victim and their family.”

Averil Bassett, Nurse Education Consultant for the Clinical Education Centre said: “Staff working with children and families need to have a high level of awareness of domestic violence and abuse and how it impacts on parents and children.

Practice needs to be underpinned by an education programme based on research, evidence of best practice and clear policy direction.

This programme was an excellent opportunity to improve multidisciplinary working in appropriately responding to the needs of victims of domestic violence”.

Inspector Billy McCallum, Public Protection Unit for the PSNI said: “Victims of domestic abuse can suffer on many levels, physically, emotionally, financially, loss of housing or even loss of freedom.

“Many suffer serious injury and also have to deal with the emotional and mental consequences that abuse creates. No one should have to suffer domestic abuse and it is equally important that we are able to provide the care and support that every victim deserves.”

Eileen Murphy, an Area Manager for Women’s Aid added: “Women’s Aid are delighted to be a partner in this programme as it means that the voice of women and children form an integral part of the training provided and ensures that all participants are clearly informed of the specialised service provided to women and children through Women’s Aid in the Southern Trust area.”

If you suspect an incident of domestic abuse involving children you can make contact with the Southern Trust Children and Young People’s Gateway Service Tel: 028 37415285 or 0800 7837745 or if you have been affected by domestic abuse you can contact Women’s Aid Freephone: 08009171414.