The Keeping Children safe in Education definition of Domestic Abuse is:
Domestic abuse can encompass a wide range of behaviours and may be a single incident or a pattern of incidents. Abuse can be, but is not limited to, psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional.
Children can be victims of domestic abuse. They may see, hear, or experience the effects of abuse at home and/or suffer domestic abuse in their own intimate relationships (teenage relationship abuse). All of which can have a detrimental and long-term impact on their health, well-being, development, and ability to learn.
(KCSiE September 2022)
Swift recognises its commitment to provide support, safeguarding, security, and an environment where children and young people feel safe to talk about their experiences when they feel the time is right.
This policy is relevant to all staff, learners and employers who use Swift’s services, along with anyone who visits the organisation.
Swift recognises that learners (children and young people) and employees can be affected by domestic abuse; for example, as a victim/survivor of domestic abuse, an individual who is currently living with domestic abuse, someone who has been impacted upon by domestic abuse or as an individual who perpetrates domestic abuse.
Aim of this Policy
The overarching aim of this policy is to promote the health, safety and wellbeing of all staff and learners at Swift.
Swift is committed to developing a workplace culture in which there is zero tolerance for abuse.
Our aims are to:
• Raise awareness of the issue of domestic abuse to all
• Improve recognition and support for those who are victims of domestic abuse
• Support awareness raising and inform cross-institutional training needs
• Engender a culture of openness without fear of discrimination
• Develop a point of contact for staff and learners who is trained to support victims of domestic abuse
What is domestic abuse?
Domestic Abuse is any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. This can encompass but is not limited to the following types of abuse:
Controlling behaviour is a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.
Coercive behaviour is an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim. This definition includes so called ‘honour’ based violence, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage, and is clear that victims are not confined to one gender or ethnic group.
Swift also recognises online, and digital platforms and social media are increasingly being used to perpetrate domestic abuse, coercion and control and takes all forms of domestic abuse seriously including technology-facilitated abuse.
Signs of domestic abuse
It is essential to understand that any signs indicating a person may be a victim could arise from a range of circumstances, of which domestic abuse may be one.
Whether a member of Swift staff, or a learner in our Academy, below are some possible signs of domestic abuse:
Changes to Productivity signs:
Disclosure of abuse: Employees
Employees subject to domestic abuse may choose to disclose, report or seek support from a union representative, a line manager, or colleague, for example.
Line managers, colleagues and union representatives will not counsel victims, but offer information, workplace support, signpost to specialist organisations and undertake a safeguarding referral, where applicable. It is important to ensure that any practice refers to and is aligned with Swift’s Policy and Code of Conduct.
Swift has an open door policy, and with senior leaders making themselves available to respond confidentially and effectively to any member of staff who discloses that they are experiencing domestic abuse.
The Designated Safeguarding Lead and safeguarding team is a further point of contact for staff experiencing domestic
Disclosures of abuse: Students
Students experiencing domestic abuse may choose to disclose, report or seek support from their tutor, or a member of the safeguarding team.
Peers/Learners should be encouraged to signpost to Domestic Abuse Champions who may refer on to the DDSL, if appropriate.
It is important to ensure that any practice refers to and is aligned with Swift’s Safeguarding Policy and Code of Conduct.
Swift staff will be approachable and available to respond confidentially and effectively to any student who discloses that they are experiencing domestic abuse.
Referral and Support
Referral for victims of domestic abuse follows the same process as for all safeguarding referrals, documented in Swift Safeguarding policy.
Author: Jayne Hipkiss (approved by Jack Edwards, Academy Director)
Review date 20/08/2023
Next review date: 19/08/2024
Authorisation by the Managing Director:
Name: Greg Morrall