Domestic Abuse: Recognising & Responding

Domestic and Sexual Violence and Abuse is a serious public health issue that can affect anyone irrespective of their age, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or religion.

The Covid-19 pandemic has created fear and uncertainty for everyone, but for those experiencing domestic violence and abuse it has had a serious impact, and this  ‘Shadow Pandemic’ growing amidst the Covid-19 crisis is reported to be affecting society worldwide (UN Women 2020).  In Northern Ireland there has been an alarming increase in the number of calls to the PSNI, and the Domestic and Sexual Violence and Abuse Helpline reported a 35% increase in calls to its number.  Behind each call is a victim who is experiencing a harrowing ordeal.

HSC Clinical Education Centre (CEC) run a comprehensive, interactive Domestic Abuse programme, delivered via Zoom, to support all Health and Social Care staff who may be working with or concerned about someone who is experiencing domestic violence or abuse.  The specific challenges presented to staff have been compounded by the restrictions which now face society as a whole.  The programme includes definitions, the range of domestic violence and abuse, the cycle of abuse, the impact on victims and children, asking difficult questions and how to respond to disclosures.  In addition, the programme signposts participants to contacts, resources and available Helpline numbers.

The emotional, physical and social scars from domestic abuse can last a lifetime and a victim of domestic abuse suffering extends far beyond ‘Lockdown.’  This programme will support staff to gain knowledge on how to recognise, respond and support victims and families during the Covid-19 crisis and beyond.

Book via the Programmes Page