Tackling domestic abuse

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A YEAR-LONG campaign tackling domestic abuse in Lanarkshire was the focus of a high profile conference in North Lanarkshire.

The event at Motherwell Theatre brought together professionals from a range of organisations to share ideas about tackling both the causes and impact of domestic abuse on children and families in Lanarkshire.

Pauline Hoggan, independent chairwoman of North Lanarkshire Child Protection Committee, said: “Throughout the year we’ve worked with North Lanarkshire Violence Against Women Group to develop training specifically targeted at staff across the agencies that work with families where there are both child protection and domestic abuse issues.

“The aim was to raise awareness on the impact on children and non-abusing parents, which in the vast majority of cases is usually mothers.”

Lanarkshire Police Scotland local policing commander Nelson Telfer ensures that his officers put in place proportionate plans to address all victim safety concerns and has significantly increased resources to ensure perpetrators get an equally appropriate ‘robust’ response.

He said: “With the merging of both South and North Lanarkshire as part of police reform, I have used this opportunity to ensure that our proactive response to domestic abuse perpetrators has significantly increased and along with partners we are ‘intrusively’ managing those who continue to think it is acceptable to be violent to their partners or children.”

The Scottish Government is supporting NHS Boards across Scotland to routinely ask women if they have experienced domestic abuse, and NHS Lanarkshire have already started training staff in key settings to support the implementation of routine enquiry and to ensure that when women do disclose domestic abuse they are supported and have access to the right agencies to meet their needs.

North Lanarkshire Child Protection Committee will continue to work with their partners in South Lanarkshire and North Lanarkshire Violence Against Women Working Group to strive to get it right for women and children experiencing domestic abuse.

The conference was in partnership with South Lanarkshire Child Protection Committee and North Lanarkshire Violence Against Women Group and South Lanarkshire Doorway Partnership.

People experiencing or aware of domestic abuse should contact the police for support. In an emergency, call 999 or contact social work localities in Cumbernauld on 01236 638 700.

For more information, contact Scottish Women’s Aid www.scottishwomensaid.og.uk, Men’s Advice Line (for men in abusive relationships) 0808 801 0327 or Respect Phoneline (for those perpetrating domestic abuse or families or advisers) 0808 802 4040.