Domestic Abuse

Domestic Abuse can be defined as: "Any incident of controlling, coercive, 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”

How does it affect children?

Children are also victims of domestic abuse. They may be in the same room and get caught in the middle of an incident trying to make the violence stop. They may be in another room but can still hear it. They may see physical injuries after the event.

Children can also be affected by a parent’s controlling and coercive treatment of the other parent. Examples include not being allowed to visit a grandparent or not being allowed to participate in extracurricular activities.

Living in a home where domestic abuse happens can have a serious impact on a child or young person’s mental health as well as their behaviour. This can last into adulthood. One in seven children will be affected by it at some point in their lives.

Types of abuse

The interplay between domestic abuse, substance misuse and mental health in families

Research shows that each of these issues can have damaging consequences for the wellbeing and outcomes of children; and where these issues are present together, they can indicate increased risk of harm to children.

Children who live in homes with domestic abuse and substance use are at increased risk of experiencing childhood abuse, including neglect, as well as psychological issues including withdrawal, depression, anxiety, eating and sleep disturbances, obsessive behaviour and self-harm.

When working with families where there is domestic abuse, substance misuse and mental health issues, the needs of children must be prioritised.

Adolescent to Parent Violence (APV) / Child to Parent Violence (CPV)

Adolescent to Parent Violence (APV) or Child to Parent Violence (CPV) can be defined as ‘abusive behaviour perpetrated against a parent by a son or daughter (who is legally recognised as a child and is most likely still living in the family home).

Abusive behaviours which are recognised to be involved in APV include but are not limited to, threats, name calling, humiliation, threats to harm themselves or others, property damage, physical violence and theft (Holt, 2015).

APV is not restricted to violence by an adolescent against a parent; it extends to violence against a family member who is acting as a parent i.e. common-law in-laws, foster family, grandparents, aunt or uncle. It must be acknowledged that there is the potential for APV to occur even when the adolescent does not live in the same property as their parents.

Operation Encompass

Operation Encompass is a Police and Education early intervention safeguarding partnership which supports children and young people exposed to domestic abuse. The objective is for schools to be notified in a timely manner where children have witnessed or are present at an address where a domestic incident has taken place.

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary aim to:

  • Ensure that schools have timely information about all police
  • Attended incidents of domestic abuse
  • Enable staff in every school to understand how to support children who are experiencing domestic abuse
  • To ensure all children experiencing domestic abuse receive timely support in their school Operation Encompass within Hampshire and the IOW currently incorporates local authority and academy schools for Primary, Secondary age groups and some colleges.
Find out more

Multi-agency response to Domestic Abuse

MARAC & HRDA meetings provide appropriate services for those involved in domestic abuse: victim, children and perpetrator.

MARAC (Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference)

MARACs provide a multi-agency response for high-risk domestic abuse victims where up to date risk information is combined with a comprehensive assessment of the victim’s needs. This enables appropriate services to be put in place for all those involved in the case.

How to refer to MARAC

HRDA (High Risk Domestic Abuse) meetings

The HRDA meetings consider the highest risk domestic abuse incidents and relocate work from MARAC to MASH. This ensures families affected by domestic abuse receive a faster, coordinated response; support and interventions are provided closer to the timing of the incident; a specialist domestic abuse worker ensures the voice of the victim/survivor is represented at the planning stage and a consistent threshold is applied to high risk domestic abuse cases.

Isle of Wight Domestic Abuse Services


Paragon is the Isle of Wight’s domestic abuse and sexual crime service provider. They also provide support and services to parents and carers who are experiencing child to parent violence. Abuse can be reported on 0800 234 6266 (free) or


The Hampton Trust provide a range of services for perpetrators to encourage healthy, non-abusive relationships. To make referrals or to share intelligence for tracking and disruption purposes contact the perpetrator service on 02380 009898. Alternatively call their front door services on 0800 234 6266 or


Who's In Charge is a nine week group programme delivered by Barnardo's Family Centre staff, for parents and carers who have a child aged 8-18 who currently appear to be beyond parental control or who uses violent and abusive behaviour toward them.


Children & Young People Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (C&YPISVA) support boys and girls (between 11-17) following an experience of rape or sexual assault. They specialise in looking after young people who have suffered any unwanted sexual experience, regardless of when the incident happened, if you have reported to the police, or other characteristics such as gender or sexuality. Contact the service on 07435996248 or


Talk2 is a counselling service for children and young people, providing therapeutic help and support for emotional health and wellbeing. The service is operating and delivering face to face counselling sessions, working from the Barnardo’s family’s centres.


Reducing Parental Conflict - There is growing evidence that shows parental conflict puts children's mental health and long term outcomes at risk when it is frequent, intense and poorly resolved.


Dragonfly Project - Become a Champion, receiving training to speak with confidence about domestic abuse and offer guidance to those experiencing it. You will be provided with on-going specialist support from Paragon.