Domestic Abuse

Safeguarding children at risk of domestic abuse

Domestic abuse can encompass a wide range of behaviours and may be a single incident or a pattern of incidents. Domestic abuse is not limited to physical acts of violence or threatening behaviour, and can include emotional, psychological, controlling or coercive behaviour, sexual and/or economic abuse. 

Domestic abuse has a significant impact on children and young people. Children may experience domestic abuse directly, as victims in their own right, or indirectly due to the impact the abuse has on others such as the non-abusive parent. 

Under the Domestic Abuse Act 2021, children are recognised as victims of domestic abuse in their own right, if they see, hear, or experience the effects of the abuse, and are related to the perpetrator of the abuse or the victim of the abuse. Abuse directed towards the child is defined as child abuse. 

Please refer to the South West Child Protection Procedures (SWCPP) chapter Domestic Violence and Abuse for full information on how to work with families to safeguard children at risk of domestic abuse. 

Somerset’s Domestic Abuse service provides a service specifically to help younger victims of domestic abuse in addition to the adult service. 

Find information for those that have experienced or witnessed domestic abuse:

Referring to Somerset Domestic Abuse service

If you are a practitioner that would like to make a victim referral to the Somerset Domestic Abuse service you can find information (including the referral forms) on the Somerset Domestic Abuse website.


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