Domestic violence and abuse - education and support resources


The BCD-orb (online resource bank) is a dedicated website where you can search, view and download resources designed to assist you in educating children and young people in a school setting about healthy relationships; (with a domestic violence and abuse prevention theme). The site also has a library of resources designed to support practitioners who are working with adults, young people and children who are, or have experienced/witnessed domestic violence and abuse.  To obtain free access to this library of resources, please register here and you will be given a username and password.


It is a sobering thought that research suggests about 130,000 children in the UK live in homes where there is a significant risk of harm or death due to exposure to high-risk domestic violence and abuse (dv&a).  As many as 750,000 experience or witness other levels of this abuse daily. (A place of greater safety. 2012. Bristol: CAADA)


A common myth amongst many parents, carers, and sometimes  professionals, is that young children do not understand and will not remember  or be seriously affected by family violence and abuse.  Where parents (and  carers) are unaware of its impact on a child, they are less likely to be  concerned about the child’s proximity to it.    By the time many children enter  formal education, they have already experienced chronic exposure to family  violence and abuse; for others it becomes a feature during these significant  formative years.  Children and young people suffer multiple physical and  mental health consequences from exposure to dv&a; many have behavioural  problems and feel they are responsible for negative events.


Within many education settings, teaching around social and health issues like  bullying, smoking, drugs and child abuse are often woven into the PHSE  curriculum.  Schools also have clear expectations and ground rules about how  to conduct relationships within school.  One of the last taboo areas for  discussion is ‘relationship abuse’.  (Note, this is what the children and young  people tell us to call it – ‘domestic’ is not a word they use).


Funded by the Department for Education, Behind Closed Doors has designed   (and trialled in over 30 schools) a range of Workshops to be delivered at each  of the Key Stages 1 – 4, in primary and secondary education, to enable  these discussions to take root.  This concept is by no means unique.  What is  different is that these are ready to-use resource packs with full step-by-step  guides, supporting materials, activity sheets and they can be accessed  free through this website.    In an  ideal world they should be delivered by  school practitioners who have accessed appropriate domestic violence  and abuse training and who are confident to manage the many questions  and ideas that children and young people share.


Behind Closed Doors has also frequently received requests from other agencies and practitioners in our area for resources to support them in working with people who are, or have, experienced domestic violence and abuse.   We are now making our support resources available, with accompanying Guidance Notes on how we use them.   They are not an exhaustive list, they do not cover every possible need, but we hope they prove useful for other busy practitioners who find themselves supporting victims of domestic violence and abuse.  They are not a substitute for thorough Needs, Risk or Support Assessments but are designed to complement them.



We would appreciate any feedback, comments or suggestions:

Behind Closed Doors works with both women and men throughout the Leeds district whose lives have been, or are affected by domestic violence and abuse. All women, men and children have the right to live safely, free from fear and harm. Our thanks to the Department for Education for supporting our Education Programme and making this site possible.

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