Responding Well to Domestic Abuse

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We will work hard to support the survivors of domestic abuse in whatever form it takes

Domestic abuse as an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour, including sexual violence, in the majority of cases by a partner or ex-partner, but also by a family member or carer.

The Church of England’s Practice Guidance ‘Responding well to domestic abuse’ published in 2017 shows the Church’s commitment to those who have been victims and survivors of domestic abuse.

Domestic abuse in all its forms is against the will of God and an affront to human dignity. All need to play their part in preventing or halting it.
Seven positive actions your parish can take
  1. Agree a parish domestic abuse statement including who to contact if there are concerns. 
    Here is a template
     
  2. Appoint a named individual who is a point of contact for any advice and support. This might be the Parish Safeguarding Officer (PSO)
     
  3. Follow the flow chart on how to respond to any concerns about domestic abuse 

    Responding Well to Domestic Abuse Flowchart
     
  4. Support those in leadership positions, pastoral and safeguarding role to engage in Diocesan domestic abuse training. 
     
  5. Display the domestic abuse statement and information about helplines and local services
     
  6. Discuss domestic abuse in appropriate settings
     
  7. Challenge inappropriate comments and behaviour by church members
Liverpool Diocesan Policy Statement on domestic abuse
The Diocese of Liverpool want to 

Promote welfare

All forms of domestic abuse are wrong and must stop. We are committed to promoting and supporting safer environments which:
  • ensure that all people feel welcomed, respected and safe from abuse;
  • work to protect those experiencing domestic abuse;
  • recognise equality amongst people and within relationships;
  • refuse to condone any form of abuse;
  • enable and encourage concerns to be raised and responded to openly and consistently.

We want to:
Prevent abuse occurring
all forms of domestic abuse cause damage to the survivor and express an imbalance of power in the relationship;
  • all survivors (regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity) have the right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse;
  • domestic abuse can occur in all communities;
  • domestic abuse may be a single incident, but is usually a systematic repeated pattern which escalates in severity and frequency;
  • domestic abuse has a devastating impact on children and young people that can last into adulthood.
  • working in partnership with children, adults and other agencies is essential in promoting the welfare of any child or adult suffering abuse.

We will
Protect  those at risk
 In all our activities by 
  • valuing, listening to and respecting both survivors and alleged or known perpetrators of domestic abuse, whilst appreciating the need to ensure a distance is kept between the two and refusing to condone the perpetration or continuation of any form of abuse.
 
In our publicity by –
  • raising awareness about other agencies, support services, resources and expertise, through providing information in public and women-only areas of relevance to survivors, children and alleged or known perpetrators of domestic abuse.  
Respond well to those who have been abused
 
When concerns are raised by –
  • ensuring that those who have experienced abuse can find safety and informed help;
  • working with the appropriate statutory bodies during an investigation into domestic abuse, including when allegations are made against a member of the church community.
 
In our care by –
  • ensuring that informed and appropriate pastoral care is offered to any child, young person or adult who has suffered abuse;
  • identifying and outlining the appropriate relationship of those with pastoral care responsibilities with both survivors and alleged or known perpetrators of domestic abuse.
 
We are committed to reviewing our policy and procedures regularly.