Domestic abuse training

RRV with blurred paramedic

COVID-19 and the lockdown months have proved a worrying and isolating time for everyone – but particularly so for adults and children living with abuse. For some, the home is not likely to be a safe place and safety measures such as social distancing and self-isolation could be used as a tool of coercive and controlling behaviour by perpetrators.

The reported incidents of domestic abuse have escalated since lockdown, with a rise in domestic homicide and serious assault particularly. Charities such as Women’s Aid and Refuge have expressed concern that household isolation has heavily impacted victims suffering domestic abuse and as an ambulance service, we are in a unique position when it comes to recognising and referring potential victims.

In 2019, 576,000 men and 1.2 million women were victims of domestic abuse (Mankind) equating to two female victims for every male victim. Not only affecting adults, 62% of children in households where domestic violence is happening are also directly harmed, and between 2005 and 2015 19 children were killed by violent parents. EEAST employ more than 4,000 fantastic staff and are supported by more than 1,500 dedicated volunteers. This means that for every patient facing member of staff, there is a potential that you are going to be that person that comes in to contact with a victim of domestic abuse as well as being aware of your colleagues too.

In response to this, and through contact with the Domestic Abuse Champions Network run by Suffolk County Council, introductory training has been offered to our staff to increase our knowledge and recognition of domestic abuse. The session around understanding domestic abuse and how to respond to victims will be introduced within East Suffolk and North Essex, with the view to then being offered trust wide. Information surrounding coercive control, barriers to victims leaving an abusive relationship and the basics of what to do if someone discloses abuse, will aim to give a better basis for staff to refer potentially high risk patients on to specialist services effectively. The overarching goal is to provide staff with greater confidence in identifying victims as well as the tools to save lives in the long term, and in the acute pre-hospital setting.

As always, if you or someone else is in immediate danger please call 999 and ask for the police.

Silent calls will work if you are not safe to speak – use the Silent Solution system and call 999 and then press 55 when prompted.

If you cannot use a voice phone, you can register with the police text service - text REGISTER to 999.

For further information on domestic abuse or for advice - the following links are available for support:

Refuge - The freephone, 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 2000 247

Mankind - Confidential helpline for male victims of domestic abuse and domestic violence  01823 334244

Women’s Aid free chat support service (open from 10am-12pm Monday-Friday)

Lighthouse - for advice: 01473 228 270

Podcast “The Devastating Effects Of COVID-19 On Victims And Survivors Of Domestic Abuse" -

Published 8th September 2020



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