New scheme to help children in domestic abuse cases expanded to Hastings

Generic images from Sussex Police ENGSUS00120130402110801
Generic images from Sussex Police ENGSUS00120130402110801

An initiative designed to tackle domestic abuse has been expanded to 1066 Country.

Following the launch of Operation Encompass into West Sussex, the domestic abuse notification process is now being rolled out to 24 schools in Hastings.

Where a child or young person has been involved or exposed to a domestic abuse incident, the school will be notified before the start of the next school day.

Sussex Police said a safeguarding partnership between police and education is a simple, but efficient way in which information from the police can be shared in strictest confidence with a school key adult, to provide that child or young person with appropriate support in dealing with a potentially traumatic domestic abuse experience at home.

Sussex is one of many police forces that have adopted Operation Encompass.

Detective Chief Inspector Pip Taylor said: “Children and young people are often hidden victims when it comes to domestic abuse and this notification can help support them to deal with what can be a traumatic adverse experience.

“We know that, on average, 35 incidents of domestic abuse can be experienced before police are called; therefore, it is imperative that we make schools aware of this, to ensure that child is safe and protected. The purpose of this operation is to help stop children becoming stuck on that devastating cycle that domestic abuse can create.

“Until launching in West Sussex over the last year, there were no such procedures in place for early reporting to schools following domestic abuse incidents. We are so pleased that East Sussex has seen the positive results from West Sussex and are now in a position to adopt.”

Katy O’Brien, a project manager with East Sussex County Council’s Children’s Services, who is assisting with the schools safeguarding post-referral, said: “Of the 24 safeguarding leads visited so far by the schools intervention worker, all strongly agreed that this information will be invaluable in allowing schools to respond to children and young people who have experienced domestic abuse in a more helpful way.

More information can be found at www.operationencompass.org.

Advice and support on domestic abuse from police and support agencies is at www.sussex.police.uk/domesticabuse or www.safespacesussex.org.uk.