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Transcript

Domestic abuse and disclosure: Top 5 tips for professionals

SKILLS BRIEFING

If you need further support, please contact the SPOC on 01384 455 411

We ask that you bear in mind your own wellbeing

Please be aware that this briefing will cover the topics of trauma and domestic abuse

Trigger warning

A recording of the briefing will be available after the session has ended

The session will run for 50 minutes with 10 minutes for questions - you will be able to contribute questions through the Q&A function

What can you expect?

consider safety

discuss options

think about risk

Make them feel heard

Transparency and honesty

Jess drops her two children, Ella and Jack, off at primary school every day.She used to chat to the other mums and get involved with school activities, but hasn't done so in a while. Ella's teacher, Miss Terry, notices that Jess seems upset and is putting herself down in front of her children a lot. She asks Jess if she is ok. Jess tells Miss Terry that her partner walked out on them last night because she couldn't get the kids to go to bed on time. Jess is worried because she doesn't know where he is.

Jess

cultural consideration

Rana has a telephone appointment with her GP, Dr Ash, for a medication review. Rana specifically requested the telephone appointment rather than attend the practice.Last time Rana was at the GP practice, she mentioned to Dr Ash that her husband didn't like her to be away from the home for too long. When Dr Ash tried to explore this further Rana laughed it off, said that everything was fine and promptly left. Dr Ash would like to check in with Rana at her next appointment.Rana does not have any children and lives with her husband alone.

Rana

cultural consideration

consider safety

  • Create a safe environment
  • Speak to the person is alone
  • Check immediate safety
  • Don't pressure someone to stay and talk if it isn't safe for them to do so
  • Establish safe ways to contact them
  • Use accredited interpreters

consider safety

Dr Ash calls Rana and asks if she is alone. Rana says that she is, but her husband is due to come home within the next half an hour. Dr Ash asks if it is safe to ask her about her relationship. Rana says it is. Dr Ash and Rana agree that Rana will say 'No, I'm not interested, thank you' as code to let Dr Ash know it is no longer safe to speak.

Miss Terry asks Jess if she has time to have a private chat about Ella's school work. Jess checks her phone and says that she can only stay for 10 minutes. Miss Terry asks if another time would be more suitable, but Jess says she is fine to stay. Miss Terry takes Jess into a quiet, private room and offers to make her a drink.

consider safety

consider safety

Transparency and honesty

transparency and honesty

  • Be clear about what you can and can't do in your role
  • Explain your organisation's safeguarding, confidentiality and information sharing procedures
  • Avoid using jargon

Dr Ash explains to Rana that her appointment is confidential and that it is important that she is alone and not on speakerphone for other people to overhear. She explains that if she has any concerns that Rana or anyone else is at risk of serious harm, she would have to share this information with her safeguarding lead, but she would let her know if she had to do this and the outcome.

Transparency and honesty

Miss Terry tells Jess that she has noticed that she hasn't been herself recently and offers support. She highlights that Jess can talk to her in confidence and won’t share anything with her partner. However, she also explains that the safety and wellbeing of Jess and her children, takes priority and that she may need to speak to her manager for advice if Jess raises any concerns that she can't deal with.

consider safety

Make them feel heard

Transparency and honesty

  • Give them time and space to talk and reflect
  • Avoid making assumptions
  • Show professional curiosity and ask open questions
  • Use active listening and be attuned to non-verbal cues
  • Take a holistic approach
  • Validate

make them feel heard

make them feel heard

Jess feels comfortable opening up about her relationship because Miss Terry shows interest, doesn't rush and checks her understanding, rather than making assumptions or expressing judgement. Jess says that she feels frustrated because her partner is often critical of her and controls what she can spend, doesn't want her to get a job and gets jealous when she speaks to other people. Miss Terry explains to Jess that her partner’s behaviour isn’t right and she doesn’t deserve this treatment. Jess is upset at this realisation, so Miss Terry gives her some space to reflect.

make them feel heard

Dr Ash explains that she noticed Rana was quite anxious in her last appointment and that she said her husband didn't like her to be away from the home for too long. Dr Ash asks Rana what happens if she is away from the home. Rana says that her husband can get annoyed because he thinks she has no need to leave the house and should be keeping the house clean instead. Dr Ash asks Rana how her husband acts when he is annoyed. She says that he shouts at her and then ignores her for a few days. Dr Ash asks Rana how that makes her feel and she discloses that it makes her not want to leave the house.

consider safety

think about risk

Make them feel heard

Transparency and honesty

  • Be aware that risk can fluctuate
  • Follow your organisational safeguarding procedures
  • Check whether it is safe for the person to go home
  • Establish safe ways to make contact in the future
  • Support with safety planning

think about risk

Miss Terry is aware that they don't have much time, so asks Jess what will happen when she leaves the school today. Jess says that her partner has messaged to say he has returned home. Miss Terry asks Jess whether she feels safe to go home and she says that she does. Jess says that she wants to confront her partner about his behaviour. Miss Terry explains why this isn't safe and suggests talking domestic abuse services first. She advises Jess to call the police on 999 if she or the children are in immediate danger, or to call 101 if she wants to report any other incidents to the police. She asks Jess if she can speak to her manager to see whether any safety measures or support need to be put in place for the children. Jess agrees to this.

think about risk

During the conversation, Dr Ash notices that Rana's responses have gotten shorter and her tone of voice has changed. Although Rana hasn't given the code they agreed on, Dr Ash decides to ask Rana to respond with 'yes' or 'no' to indicate if she is still alone. Rana says 'no' and Dr Ash knows that it isn't safe to continue the conversation. Dr Ash asks if she can arrange a follow up appointment at the practice to do some further tests with her. She explains that she needs to see her face to face to do these tests, but asks when is best for her. Rana agrees a time and date but says that her husband is going to come with her. Dr Ash says that's fine but due to the confidential nature of medical appointments, he will need to sit outside whilst the examination takes place.

think about risk

consider safety

discuss options

think about risk

Make them feel heard

Transparency and honesty

  • Discuss support available and provide further information
  • Facilitate decision making without taking over
  • Avoid pressurising the person

Discuss options

Miss Terry returns after speaking with her manager and explains to Jess that the school pastoral team will check in with the children to see how they are. She asks Jess if it is okay for her to check in with her again next week at a time that suits her. Jess agrees to email if she can’t attend. Miss Terry asks Jess what she wants and Jess isn’t sure. She offers to refer Jess to Dudley SPOC and explains that she can get support for the abuse, whether she chooses to leave or stay in the relationship. Jess isn't sure. Miss Terry doesn't pressure Jess into contacting SPOC, but offers to provide the details. Jess decides to not accept the phone number as her partner checks her phone, but is aware that she can access the webchat instead. Before Jess leaves, Miss Terry talks to her about Ella's brilliant contributions in lesson.

discuss options

Share relevant information

Be mindful of the language that you use

Keep clear, factual records

Take disclosures seriously

Revisit concerns if you have them

Remember to:

Rana knows that she can talk to her doctor in confidence.

Jess knows that she is not alone and that there is support available to her.

You can make a difference

Your response mattersTrust your instinctsDon't ignore concerns

All referrals, including self-referrals can be made via: Telephone: 01384 455 411 (24 hours) Text/Whatsapp: 07384 466 181 (9am-9pm weekdays) Webchat (see our website for details) If someone is in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police.

How to contact Dudley Single Point of Contact (SPOC)

Q&A

Scan the QR code to access:

  • Specialist domestic abuse e-learning courses for Dudley professionals, including a course on DA and suicide
  • Domestic abuse resource and education packs
  • Our live online briefing catalogue

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