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Domestic violence and abuse must be a public health priority to support real-life Helens

15th September 2016

The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) and Institute of Health Visiting (iHV) are highlighting the need for domestic violence and abuse (DVA) to be treated as a public health priority, at a conference on the issue being held today (Thursday 15 September 2016). The call comes as a survey of health visitors by the iHV reveals that more than two in five (42%) think services to support families affected by DVA in their area have got worse in the past two years, with less than a third (32%) say they had not got worse.

The iHV survey of health visitors in England also found:

  • Almost half (47%) of health visitors believe a challenged couple relationship between parents is impacting on their children in more than one in five (20%) of the families they work with.
  • Almost two thirds (62%) of health visitors say the families they work with affected by DVA are not empowered to do anything about the situation.

With the country having recently been gripped by the story of Helen Titchener in BBC Radio 4 soap The Archers, awareness of DVA in the UK is at an all-time high. Today’s conference will help policy makers and health professionals do more to support affected families and reduce the associated health and wellbeing risks for children.

If you couldn’t make the conference, follow the day’s proceedings on Twitter by using the hashtag #DVAconf16

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