New resource to improve awareness of domestic abuse
A new online resource is being made available to help support people experiencing or at risk of, domestic abuse in Scotland.
For professionals in the housing, social work, health, education and other sectors with an interest in the new domestic abuse legislation, the resource aims to improve understanding of coercive controlling behaviours, and where to direct people for further assistance.
The Domestic Abuse Awareness Raising Tool has been developed in partnership with stakeholders by the domestic abuse charity SafeLives, backed by £10,000 Scottish Government investment.
It forms part of a wider programme of accessible resources to improve the capacity of public service staff in Scotland to recognise and safely respond to survivors of domestic abuse.
Christina McKelvie, equalities minister, said: “Frontline organisations provide an invaluable service for victims and are a great source of help. But we know that there are numerous staff in health, social care and education who regularly come into contact with people who may be experiencing, or at risk of, domestic abuse.
“This new tool will be an important resource for those professionals to help them to look out for signs of abuse, including coercive controlling behaviours, and be able to provide an effective, early intervention or signpost to support which could be lifesaving.
“The ground-breaking legislation which came into force last year created a specific new offence that includes physical abuse and forms of psychological abuse. And whilst we need this legislation, we also need to support Scotland’s workforce to develop a common understanding of domestic abuse that delivers a consistent and effective message for victims.”
Lucy McDonald from SafeLives in Scotland, added: “This tool ensures domestic abuse is everybody’s business. We know that victims and survivors will encounter different agencies, such as health and social care, and this tool will help professionals from those agencies have the skills and knowledge to provide support and empathy.
“Many families in Scotland have been living in lockdown, and will have experienced greater challenges in getting the help they so urgently need. Tools this like should help professionals understand the dynamics of abuse and how to spot controlling behaviours, meaning we can help people become safe, sooner.”