A common concern is feeling like you don’t know enough to respond well, but simply listening can help someone to break the silence around their situation.
People who’ve experienced domestic abuse or sexual violence say that opportunities to talk, along with emotional and practical support about where to go for help are most helpful, particularly when offered by someone they trust.
Immediate risks should be reported to the Police on 999, who are still prioritising domestic abuse and sexual violence during this period.
Services can help people to talk about domestic abuse and sexual violence, to know they are not alone and to feel that they will be believed.
Asking about a person’s experiences in their relationships and recognising the signs of possible domestic abuse and sexual violence are the first steps in making sure they receive the right help and support. For more information on domestic abuse and sexual violence please see http://safercornwall.co.uk/what-we-do/dasv-hub/ and Domestic Abuse & Sexual Violence- Routine Enquiry
“Domestic abuse” and “domestic violence” are labels that many people struggle to identify with because they feel these terms don’t represent their experiences – particularly the control and coercion, and the psychological, emotional, sexual and financial abuse they have experienced.
So, start conversations gently, conveying your concern. You could ask about things you have noticed, something like: ‘Are you ok?’ or ‘I’m worried about you, you seem scared’.
How you then respond to any disclosure really matters. People expect to be criticised or blamed. It can be hard not to offer strong opinions about the relationship or the person behaving abusively, but these responses tend to close conversations down.
Instead, try to listen with a supportive attitude and an open mind. The important things to convey are that you believe the person, they are not to blame for the abuse, that you are concerned and worried about them and that you want to help.
You can also go to saferfutures.org.uk or you can call Safer Futures on 0300 777 4777 for further advice from our specialist domestic abuse and sexual violence service.
Everyone involved in situations of domestic abuse and sexual violence should be offered support.
If a person makes a disclosure of domestic abuse or sexual violence, their safety and the safety of others, including any children who may be affected, is the first priority. If you have concerns that someone is in immediate danger call 999.
Share information about specialist services and offer a referral:
Domestic abuse – Safer Futures –
Helpline: 0300 777 4777
Email: [email protected]
Rape and sexual assault – Sexual Assault Referral Centre –
Helpline: 0300 3034626
If you have concerns but the person hasn’t disclosed or denies any abuse but there are clear/concerning signs or you are not sure what to do, contact Safer Futures for advice.
The MARAC is a multi-agency risk assessment conference for high-risk domestic abuse cases.
The MARAC rep can support you in determining whether a case should be referred to MARAC, based on the level of risk being identified, professional judgement or risk of escalation. Please contact your manager or email [email protected] to identify your MARAC rep.MARAC Operating Protocol 2023
Information to help all NHS staff and allied healthcare partners in their response to victims of domestic violence and abuse:
The Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence training programme (DASV) in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly is being delivered by Safer Futures and commissioned by Safer Cornwall. The training consists of three levels; prior to booking any of our training, we ask that individuals consider if their professional experience, responsibility and previous training will support the level of learning of each session.
Support of individual services and organisations, through bespoke training may be considered if deemed appropriate.
To view dates, further information and to book please visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/barnardos-safer-futures-18214164864
Local refuges and other domestic abuse accommodation can offer safe, secure, comfortable and well-equipped accommodation where women, men and children can access emotional and practical support from specialised staff and a range of other partner agencies, while safely recovering from the trauma and abuse they have experienced at the hands of partners, ex-partners and/or family members. The support provided is centred around the individual and their children, where applicable, to empower, and to build on their strengths and resilience, towards a life free from abuse. This includes accessing appropriate and safe move-on accommodation and resettling into the community.
For more information on Safe Accommodation across CIos please go to: http://safercornwall.co.uk/people-experiencing-domestic-abuse/#Refuge
The Domestic Abuse & Sexual Violence (DASV) Housing Pathway was created to ensure that the Housing Options service, provided by Cornwall Housing Limited, provides a comprehensive and consistent approach in assisting anyone who is experiencing domestic abuse or sexual violence that approaches the council for help with housing. Customers and clients should be able to move along the DASV Housing pathway smoothly from disclosure to resolution.
Where housing assistance is required, either to enable a household to remain in their accommodation safely or to secure accommodation to provide a place of safety, contact:
Housing Options Team 0300 1234 161
Further information can also be found here:
The DASV Housing Pathway is intended for use by internal staff members and a point of reference for partner agencies- either those specifically dealing with people/households experiencing ongoing DASV or its aftermath, or those non- housing or DASV specific agencies who are approached by such households. It also states Cornwall Housing’s position, policy and practice relating to Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence.
There are a number of things you can do to support your staff if they are experiencing domestic abuse and/or sexual violence. For more information on DASV in the workplace please go to: http://safercornwall.co.uk/domestic-abuse-and-sexual-violence-in-the-workplace/