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6.22 Safeguarding Children Abused Through Domestic Abuse

Staff are advised that in all case of domestic abuse they should refer to the London Child Protection Procedures, Safeguarding Children Practice Guidance - Parents who have Additional Needs, Safeguarding Children Affected by Domestic Abuse Procedure and Risk Identification Matrix.


Protocol for Joint Working between Children’s Social Care and Solace Advocacy and Support Services (SASS)

Legal Aid Applications – Domestic Abuse Procedure

Note: With effect from 31.3.13, the terminology which should be used is as set out in Home Office Guidance ‘Information Guide for Local Areas on the Change to the Definition of Domestic Violence and Abuse’ (2013). The term ‘domestic violence and abuse’ should be used. The Government definition of domestic violence and abuse has been widened to include those aged 16-17 and the wording changed to reflect coercive control. (Note that this is not a legal definition.) The new definition is:

'Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. This can encompass, but is not limited to, the following types of abuse:

  • Psychological:
  • Physical:
  • Sexual;
  • Financial;
  • Emotional.

'Controlling behaviour is: a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.

Coercive behaviour is: an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.'

The definition includes so called 'honour’ based violence, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage, and is clear that victims are not confined to one gender or ethnic group.


The chapter was updated in March 2022 to include a link to the Legal Aid Applications – Domestic Abuse Procedure in the Scope box.