Violence against women and girls toolkits

27 May 2010

The toolkit Improving safety, Reducing harm: children, your people and domestic violence provides specific information about children, domestic violence and related issues; an overview of Every Child Matters and the tiers of intervention; principles of commissioning services; risk assessment and safety planning information; guidance for schools; clear explanations of key standards and policies; sample forms and key fact sheets.

Responding to domestic abuse: a handbook for health professionals gives practical guidance to healthcare professionals on working with patients who may have experienced or are experiencing domestic abuse.
The HARK toolkit consists of four questions, which are designed to be used in general practice to identify women who have experienced violence in the past year. The questions are: 

Within the last year, have you been Humiliated or emotionally abused in other ways by your partner or your ex-partner? 
Within the last year, have you been Afraid of your partner or ex-partner? 
Within the last year, have you been Raped or forced to have any kind of sexual activity by your partner or ex-partner?
Within the last year, have you been Kicked, hit, slapped or otherwise physically hurt by your partner or ex-partner?'

The Home Office launched a toolkit developed with the Greater London Domestic Violence Project to support the coordinated community response model (CCRM) to domestic violence. The CCRM recognises that all agencies must work together in an integrated and coordinated way to tackle domestic violence. The CCRM toolkit brings together guidance, research, polices and information in one place and can be accessed at the link above.

'Respect  is a national organisations for professionals working with people to end their abusive behaviour.  Respect has produced a toolkit  to help inform assessments in situations where it is not clear who is doing what, to whom, and with what consequences for risks and safety. The toolkit aims to help professionals protect victims and children better, to make more appropriate referrals and to identify more thoroughly the sources of risk.

One option for PCTs aiming to reach 'hard to reach' groups such as survivors of violence and abuse can be via web-based services such as Big White Wall is an online early intervention service for people in psychological distress provided in partnership with the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust (TPFT). BWW combines social networking principles with a choice of clinically-informed interventions to improve mental wellbeing.  It can be accessed 24/7 and has staff (Wall Guides) who ensure the full engagement, safety and anonymity of all members.  Big White Wall is a community of people who are experiencing common mental health problems who are supported to self-manage their own mental health.

The multi-agency practice guidelines on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) 
have been published to better safeguard girls and women from the risk of female genital mutilation and support those affected by FGM’s severe health consequences.

They set out:

•  the complex cultural issues around female genital mutilation;
• the signs that girls and women may be at risk;
• the actions that health professionals should take, often in conjunction with other professionals.

Comparing Sexual Assault Interventions (COSAI): Fostering good practice in services for women in Europe

Through the European Commission Daphne III programme, a set of documents, tools and resources are available to help commissioners and providers improve the effectiveness of sexual assault services.  COSAI resources are founded on comparative polices, literature review and the results of exploring the impact of sexual assault intervention programmes in EU Member States and EFTA/EEA countries. The UK was one of five participating countries through programme partnership with Liverpool John Moores University , WHO-Euro and Department of Health (England) being associate partners. Stakeholder involvement was across the four UK countries. The resources include benchmarking tools for standards of good practice, training and material to build capacity and promote excellence.

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