Responding to disclosures

Flowchart for disclosures

Validate

Validate what’s happening to the person:

  • “You are not alone”
  • “You are not to blame for what is happening”
  • “You do not deserve to be treated in this way”
  • "There is help available“
  • “There is life after abuse”

Assess

Check current safety:

  • “Is your partner here with you?”
  • “Where are the children?”
  • “Do you have any immediate concerns?”
  • “Do you have a safe place to go to?”

Consider if there is an immediate risk and if the perpetrator(s) is present. Seek management support and call police. You may need to support access to emergency accommodation, please call 0808 2000 247.

This is particularly important with FGM/HBA/FM. Remember to protect your personal safety.

Safeguarding

Is there a child or vulnerable adult at risk?

  • Vulnerable adult - a person with care and support needs - adult safeguarding and domestic abuse guidance
  • Harm to children includes “impairment suffered from seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another”
  • 30-60% of children who witness domestic abuse are also physically harmed

Action

  • Follow your organisation’s policies and safeguarding procedures, if appropriate
  • Provide information about support services
  • Offer to make a direct referral
  • Provide safety planning advice
  • Ask the client what they want

Document

Consider safety and confidentiality when recording information and follow your organisation’s data protection policies. Extreme care needs to be taken with documenting domestic abuse. In order to maintain confidentiality, any record of domestic violence should be kept separately from notes which the perpetrator may have access to i.e. records he may access as a parent.

Honour based abuse, forced marriage and female genital mutilation

If you receive a disclosure or suspect any of these contact CADS immediately on 0344 800 8020 or phone 999 in emergencies.

Other information for specific professions

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