Best Practice

Safeguarding: Spotting the signs of domestic abuse

The coronavirus lockdown has led to an increase in domestic abuse and violence. Safeguarding expert Debbie Gardner looks at the role of schools in spotting the signs in a world of remote learning and national lockdown

With lockdown measures in place, the risks of increased incidents of domestic abuse are perhaps greater than ever before.

The isolating features of lockdown play directly into the hands of perpetrators of domestic abuse, who tend to exhibit coercive and controlling behaviour anyway and can now use the lockdown as an excuse to impose stricter and more unrealistic regimes on their families’ activities and behaviours. Both social distancing and isolation are core tactics of a coercively controlling partner.

I have been involved in running weekly webinars discussing the challenges of safeguarding during Covid-19 with schools across the country, listening to their concerns and offering advice.

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