Best Practice

Safeguarding: Spotting the signs of domestic abuse

Sadly, some children returning to school after Christmas will have been victims of domestic abuse. Elizabeth Rose considers what this could look like, the signs and symptoms staff might see and practical ways to respond

Domestic abuse is a complex issue and violence against women and girls particularly continues to be an endemic problem. We are living in a society where two women are killed by a partner or former partner every week in England and Wales (ONS, 2019) and almost one in three women will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime.

Although these statistics highlight the dangers to women, it is important to recognise that men can also be the victims of domestic abuse and it can and does take place within same-sex relationships too.

When schools are involved, it means that there are also child victims of domestic abuse and sourcing the appropriate support and responding sensitively at the right time can be challenging.

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