Safeguarding adults, Domestic Abuse, including working with those who have learning disabilities and working with perpetrators

Public Health Scotland have produced a useful guidance document which aims to help frontline staff working with adults aged 18 and over with mild or moderate learning disabilities, or significant learning needs, who have experienced, or are at risk of experiencing, gender-based violence.

It is primarily designed for practitioners working in health and social care, third sector women’s support organisations, independent advocacy services and learning disability support organisations.

The guide explains how to identify gender-based violence, and how to provide a sensitive and appropriate response, drawing on our understanding of best practice in this area of work:

The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) have developed a quick guide to provide practical ideas for social care professionals about the impact on domestic violence and abuse as lockdown eases.

The Home Affairs Committee’s Home Office preparedness for COVID-19 (Coronavirus): domestic abuse and risks of harm within the home suggests that contacts to domestic abuse helplines have increased during the coronavirus pandemic, with incidents becoming more complex and serious, and higher levels of physical violence and coercive control.

Professionals should be aware that a perceived loss of control can be a trigger for abusive behaviour. During lockdown, perpetrators are likely to have experienced an increased sense of control. This could be threatened by the easing of lockdown and perpetrators may intensify coercive control or engage in new, more harmful behaviour to re-exert control. Agencies and practitioners need to be aware of this and be alert to the signs in child and adult victim/survivors and perpetrators.

And the NHS has produced a leaflet entitled, ‘Working with perpetrators – guidance for healthcare professionals’. Research shows that healthcare professionals are one of the few groups of people that perpetrators may disclose to about domestic abuse.

This leaflet sets out how to support during disclosure and what you can consider doing when a perpetrator discloses to help them end the abuse.

18 August 2020:15:17