Safeguarding Children:

Domestic Abuse

Guidance for professionals for Domestic AbuseDomestic Abuse

What is Domestic Abuse?

Domestic abuse is when someone in a close relationship with you behaves in a way that causes you physical, mental, or emotional damage. This doesn't have to be physical violence. Domestic abuse includes any incident of threatening behaviour. Domestic abuse can be psychological, physical, social, financial or emotional.

Domestic abusers are usually a person's spouse, partner, ex-spouse, ex-partner or other close family member. Most people affected by domestic abuse are women, but many men are abused by their partners.

The Effect of Domestic Abuse on Children

Children, who witness, intervene or hear incidents are affected in many ways. What can be guaranteed is that children do hear, they do see and they are aware of abuse in the family. Children will learn how to behave from examples parents set for them. Domestic violence teaches children negative things about relationships and how to deal with people.

  • Domestic violence may teach children to use violence
  • Violence can affect children in serious and long-lasting ways
  • Where there is domestic violence there is often child abuse
  • Children will often blame themselves for domestic violence
  • Alcohol misuse is very common contributing factor when violence occurs in families
  • Pregnant women are more vulnerable to domestic violence For instance:
  • It can teach them that violence is an acceptable way to resolve conflict
  • They learn how to keep secrets.
  • They learn to mistrust those close to them and that children are responsible and to blame for violence, especially if violence erupts after an argument about the children. 

Many people find it difficult to understand why people remain in or return to abusive violent situations. A combination of fear, love, the risk of homelessness and financial issues can make it very difficult for partners with children to leave and some may not want to.

Clare's Law

Clare’s Law commemorates Clare Wood who was murdered by her violent ex-partner in 2009. Clare was unaware of her partner’s history of violence against women and, following her death, her family campaigned for a change in the law to support actual, and potential, victims of domestic violence. The scheme introduced in March 2014 aims to prevent men and women from becoming victims of domestic violence and abuse by providing a formal method of making enquiries about an individual who they are in a relationship with or who is in a relationship with someone they know, and there is a concern that the individual may be abusive towards their partner.

Further information, and guidance as to how to make a Clare's Law request can be found on the Lancashire Constabulary website

For further support and advice in relation to Domestic Abuse: