Domestic violence and abuse has been recognised nationally as having a significant impact on both individuals and families, including affecting a woman’s ability to care for her children.

Research evidence shows that children experiencing domestic violence and abuse can be negatively affected in every aspect of their functioning, safety, physical and mental health and well being, school attendance and achievement, economic wellbeing and emotional development. The effects may continue into adulthood affecting their ability to form peer friendships and healthy partner relationships of their own. In the most extreme cases, children are at risk of serious injury or death as a result of domestic violence and abuse. For many children experience of living with domestic violence and abuse is the underlying factor in other needs for which they come to the notice of services and individual organisations.

Domestic violence is also identified within the Every Child Matters outcome framework as a cause of vulnerability in children which has a negative impact on children’s ability to achieve their full potential across the five outcomes.

Nationally research shows that:

  • Nearly a million children in the UK are living with domestic violence and abuse (NSPCC/Body Shop 2006)
  • Among victims of child abuse, 40% report domestic violence in the home (UNICEF 2006)
  • In 25% of cases of domestic violence the male partner is also violent to the children
  • Two thirds of the refuge population in England are children. At least 20,000 children stay in refuges each year, with half of these aged under 5
  • Domestic violence and abuse is a significant factor in serious case reviews (Study of Serious Case Reviews & Child Deaths 2008)
  • Nearly three quarters of children (over 750,000) on local “at risk” registers live in households where domestic violence occurs (DOH 2003/Women’s Aid)
  • Nearly 75% of girls and 50% of boys have reported some sort of emotional partner abuse (NSPCC research 2009)

The Dorset Safeguarding Children Board (DSCB) is committed to addressing the impact of domestic violence and abuse as part of its wider remit to ensure that children are protected and safeguarded from harm. To coordinate its multi-agency response across Dorset, the DSCB has developed a Domestic Abuse Delivery Plan 2013

The Dorset Safeguarding Children Board (DSCB) is committed to ensuring that any domestic violence and abuse services delivered for children in Dorset, whether directly commissioned or not, are safe, appropriate to need and improve outcomes for children and young people. In addition the DSCB is committed to ensuring that these services link into existing statutory and commissioned services to ensure the best use of resources and maximum benefit for those who need support. The standards are intended to guide organisations in making decisions when commissioning or purchasing services.

In 2012, the DSCB launched its Domestic Abuse Service Standards 2012


Domestic Abuse Information for Schools

The DSCB has also launched Domestic Violence and Abuse Education & Prevention Work Guidelines for Minimum Standards for Dorset Schools. These are intended to assist schools in addressing domestic violence and abuse within the PHSE curriculum and to assist schools in selecting external providers of Domestic Violence and Abuse education materials.

These are not mandatory but the DSCB would expect schools to refer to them before any work is initiated.


Dorset MAPPA (Multi-Agency Public Protection arrangements)

Dorset is a low crime area, relative to other counties and the number of sexual and violent crimes committed represents a small proportion of the total recorded crime in this county, but for the victims and their families they inevitably cause a great deal of fear, distress and harm.
It is for this reason that protecting the public from offenders that commit these crimes and meeting the needs of victims remains a high priority for the Dorset Police, the National Probation Service, (NPS), Dorset cluster and Prison Services.

The Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements are a significant contribution to the work that takes place. Under these arrangements these Statutory services work closely together with other key partners, including those responsible for Safeguarding arrangements for children and adults, and those who may pose a risk through Extremism activities, to identify, assess and manage violent and sexual offenders. It is never possible to eliminate risk entirely; however what can be expected is that all reasonable steps have been taken to reduce the risk of serious harm to the public from known offenders.


The following documents are provided as a resource for secondary schools and other agenices.  The posters can be printed off and displayed on noticeboards. The Expect Respect Toolkit is a national resource which has been developed by Women’s Aid for the Home Office and provides lesson plans for pupils aged 13-18.