Let's keep up the momentum on tackling domestic abuse

Amanda Burston issues a rallying call to nurses

Following on from the domestic abuse debate at RCN Congress, work has already begun to look at ways of bringing together all in healthcare to raise awareness across the service.

Carmel Bagness, professional lead for midwifery and women’s health at the RCN, invited me to join an RCN scoping group to plan educational resources and a web page providing links to help and advice for all members of the nursing family on all areas of domestic abuse.

The group are energetic, passionate and committed to empowering all staff to challenge the stigmas of abuse, raise awareness and improve education of the health workforce. Another aim is to help nursing professionals who are affected by all forms of abuse, be it physical, financial, emotional, psychological or sexual, This work is essential as health providers are well placed to interact with victims - we may be the only professional contact a victim has while suffering abuse. And of course there will also be victims of abuse amongst our health care providing team. 

Following the success of the Congress resolution, there has been much interest in the work of raising awareness of domestic abuse, and I would like to thank everyone who has been in touch. 

I also thank the victims of abuse who have contacted me to share their story from victim to survivor; you are all inspiring and keep me focused on the national task at hand.

SafeLives (formally CAADA) are currently finalising research findings from their five-year THEMIS project. These results will shape the way we approach domestic abuse in the future. While the results continue to show the risk of abuse, and deaths, are increasing, they also highlight how we in healthcare can really make a huge difference.

Remember this number - 0808 2000 247 - for advice on domestic abuse.


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