Working together to tackle domestic abuse

Local partners across Devon are highlighting the work taking place to tackle domestic abuse.

The annual 16 Days of Action Against Domestic Violence campaign, which began on 25 November, encourages people to take action to end violence against women and girls around the world.

The NHS in Devon is working towards this in partnership with local authorities and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

In June 2020 NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) appointed its first Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (DASV) lead. DASV has a significant health impact which is often overlooked. Victims of abuse are also more likely to have contact with and disclose information to health professionals.

From the start, the role has involved collaborative working with the DASV strategy drawing upon the expertise of colleagues in the health service, partners across the wider system and the lived experience of survivors. 

The strategy is approached through a trauma lens and is the first to facilitate collaboration between local domestic abuse and sexual violence services.

The systems elements of the strategy are implemented through the Whole Systems for Whole People group; a prototyping and learning forum of commissioners from the local authorities, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and the CCG.  The forum innovates and experiments with ways to organise support for the benefit of people affected by trauma and/or who have complex needs.

The ethos is for structures to work for people, and not expect people to fit into structures. 

The Whole Systems for Whole People team was selected, in collaboration with Cornwall, as NHS England’s first Sexual Health Trauma Pathfinder site. Resources and good practice are shared across the wider system; learning from a local domestic homicide review was used to procure resources for GPs and hospitals including toilet door stickers and lanyards to prompt enquiry and response. 

The transition to an Integrated Care System in 2022, with an emphasis on co-creation, collaboration and partnerships, will support progress towards creating a system that responds to the health, care and safety needs of our local people.  

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