Knowsley’s Children and Families Board has received an update on the response to domestic abuse in the borough.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic the risks of domestic abuse in Knowsley have increased however, the response from Knowsley Council and partners has increased to address this.
The Knowsley Domestic Abuse Strategy 2022-2025 was launched last year, outlining several priority areas in response to domestic abuse in Knowsley.
The Board heard an update on a number of the priority areas, including:
Equipping the Council’s workforce to understand and respond to domestic abuse and coercive control
By March 2024 there will have been 25, three-day training courses delivered to 670 practitioners to improve the workforce understanding of Domestic Abuse and respond in the context of the needs of children and families.
Interventions in response to the lived experience of victims of Domestic Abuse
The Knowsley Domestic Abuse Partnership supports the view that earlier intervention leads to improved outcomes for victims and their families, and that early intervention can reduce repeated abuse.
Knowsley has invested in establishing a victim/survivor pathway that ensures that when referred, all victims of domestic abuse are offered support, regardless of their risk level.
High-risk victim/survivor referrals are discussed at a multi-agency meeting to ensure there is a coordinated plan of support and intervention in place. A Domestic Abuse Advocate is also now placed within the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH), providing front door advice and expertise to ensure plans are robust for children exposed to domestic abuse.
Implementation of early intervention and prevention responses with children as victims of domestic abuse
A July 2022 audit evidenced 90% threshold decisions were deemed appropriate and highlighted examples of professional curiosity, and liaising between Family First and social care services. A repeat Domestic Abuse Audit in MASH took place September 2023 and this further evidenced strong partnership working and improved decision making within the MASH.
The Thrive Project was launched in November 2022 to complete intensive focused work with children who are impacted by Domestic Abuse via an allocated support worker. To date, 107 children have accessed this support and 79 children are accessing therapeutic support from Listening Ear.
Holding perpetrators to account and ensure support and challenge through appropriate behaviour change programmes.
Recognising that to address the issue of domestic abuse, those responsible need to be accountable for their behaviour, an established perpetrator pathway has been established in Knowsley for non-statutory perpetrators that runs alongside those statutory interventions delivered by The Probation Service.
Knowsley Council’s Safer Communities Service Choices Pathway work with residents who have been identified as perpetrators of domestic abuse. Based on voluntary engagement, those referred are supported to change their behaviours to prevent re-offending.
The Board acknowledged the progress made since the implementation of the Domestic Abuse Strategy and noted the next steps for continued improvement in the key priority areas.
You can find more information about the next steps in each priority area here.
Where can I get help and support?
In an emergency, dial 999. If you are unable to speak, cough, tap the handset or press 55 and the operator will put you through to the police.
Knowsley Council Safer Communities Service (Specialist Domestic Abuse Service)
Tel: 0151 443 2610
The First Step (Independent Specialist Domestic Abuse Service)
Tel: 0151 548 3333
Knowsley Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub
Tel: 0151 443 2600
Further support is also offered by these national agencies:
victimcaremerseyside.org (directory of services)
National Domestic Violence Helpline: 0808 2000 247 (24 hours).
Worst Kept Secret Helpline: 0800 028 3398.
Refuge (includes information for men) | refuge.org.uk | 0808 200 0247 (24 hours)
The Men’s Advice Line, for male domestic abuse survivors – 0808 801 0327.
National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0800 999 5428.
Samaritans (24/7 service) – 116 123.
RASASC – Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre – National phone line 0330 363 0063 & Knowsley phone line Knowsley 0151 218 7960