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BASW England hosts domestic abuse webinar

The event brought together practitioners, service users and survivors of domestic abuse

Last week, BASW England hosted a successful webinar (which was CPD certified) on domestic abuse, working with adults, children, survivors and perpetrators, as part of the White Ribbon and the 16 days of action campaigns.

The event brought together practitioners from across England and abroad, as well as a service users and survivors of domestic abuse to speak about practice issues.

Topics covered included what social workers can do to reduce risks and improve the wellbeing of service users, be they adults or children at risk of domestic abuse or those who perpetrate domestic abuse.

The webinar was well attended raised several issues including concerns that a lack of resources is leaving children and adults vulnerable to the harm of domestic abuse and doesn’t help rehabilitate those who perpetrate domestic abuse.

Social exclusion including mental health, substance misuse and above all finances were cited by participants as acting as a barrier to service users receiving appropriate resources.

Training for professionals remains an ongoing issue, while the speakers raised several important specific points, including:

  1. Professionals should try and avoid becoming entrenched in binary perspectives, namely seeing domestic abuse in terms of perpetrator and victim and do more to understand the individual circumstances.
  2. Regarding the safeguarding of adults at risk of abuse, risks should always be balanced – one of the panellists quoted Lord Justice Munby who once said, ‘what’s the point of making someone safe if it only makes them miserable?’
  3. Whilst the welfare of the child is paramount, we risk re-traumatising children if we take draconian measures when safeguarding.