Domestic Abuse and Adult Safeguarding
What is domestic abuse?
People often think of domestic abuse as physical violence, such as hitting. However, domestic violence takes other forms, such as psychological, emotional, or sexual abuse. Domestic violence is about one person in a relationship using a pattern of behaviours to control the other person.
There is a new offence of “Coercive Control” which is about where the way in which someone controls someone is now a crime and there have been at least two successful prosecutions regarding this new offence in the Thames Valley area.
Domestic abuse in adult safeguarding is often more complex than what is perceived as "typical" domestic abuse since not only is there abuse between husband and wife, but also between various family members i.e. older person and their grown up son, or grandson. There are often issues of interdependency and caring which makes it much harder to separate the person from their abuser.
People who are unpaid carers, caring for their partner or relative, friend, can abuse the person that they are caring for; this can be intentional and be about power and control. However it can also be due to the person not being able to cope with caring or not knowing how to care for someone. This still needs to be seen as abuse but can be dealt with in a much more sensitive manner.
Possible indicators of domestic violence or abuse
- Low self-esteem
- Feeling that the abuse is their fault when it is not
- Physical evidence of violence such as bruising, cuts, broken bones
- Verbal abuse and humiliation in front of others
- Fear of outside intervention
- Damage to home or property
- Isolation – not seeing friends and family
- Limited access to money
What support is there for people who are victims of Domestic Abuse?
- Police - emergency 999 or 101
- Safeguarding Team - MASH - 0800 137 915
- Womens Aid - Aylesbury 01296 436827, High Wycombe 01494 461367
SCIE guidance to Adult Safeguarding and Domestic Abuse
What is Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Adults Board doing about Domestic Abuse?
In March 2017, Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Adults Board held a Themed Board focused on Domestic Abuse and the then new offence of coercive control. As a direct outcome of this meeting it was decided that there appeared to be a lack of resources to support those victims of domestic abuse who have a learning disability. Therefore the Board agreed to hold a challenge event to look at services and how they work to support people with a learning disablity who are victims of domestic abuse.
The Board are also involved in developing an event to be held in October 2018 between all the joint boards. More information about this event will be published on this website nearer the time.