Women’s Aid responds to major new report examining the response to safeguarding children living with domestic abuse
Tuesday 19th September
Women’s Aid responds to a major new report released today by Ofsted and three other agencies (the Care Quality Commission, HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services, and HM Inspectorate of Probation) into how agencies are working together to help and protect children who have witnessed domestic abuse at home.
The report found that social workers, the police, health professionals and other agencies such as youth offending teams and probation services are often doing a good job to protect victims. But too little is being done to prevent domestic abuse in the first place and to repair the damage it causes afterwards.
The report calls for a new public information campaign to raise awareness of domestic abuse and recommends a move away from the current “risk management” model to tackling domestic abuse, which focuses only on those in immediate crisis, to develop a long-term strategy to reduce the prevalence of domestic abuse and repair the damage that it does in the long-term.
Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, said:
“Our Child First campaign shone a light on the long-lasting, detrimental impact domestic abuse has on children’s well-being and safety. Sadly, in some cases abuse results in the tragic loss of innocent lives. This is a social epidemic that needs to be urgently tackled and we support this landmark call for a fundamental re-think in how we prevent and tackle domestic abuse.
“For far too long, the focus on cases deemed to be “high risk” has failed to provide women and their children with the support they need to recover in the long term and it has failed to tackle the root causes of domestic abuse. It is critical that all parts of the public sector – from midwives to teachers and social workers – recognise and understand domestic abuse so that they can intervene early and effectively support women and child survivors to help them escape abuse. Sadly, as the report shows, victim blaming attitudes across all agencies are still far too common.
“Power and control are at the heart of domestic abuse. We need to tackle the sexism and inequality that are root causes of domestic abuse and ensure that perpetrators are held solely accountable for their actions. We believe survivors’ and their children’s experiences and needs must be factored into all responses to tackling domestic abuse. As a survivor quoted in the report states, the public sector must start asking what she needs, rather than telling her what’s best for her.”
For more information, please contact the Women’s Aid Press Office: [email protected]