While pre-COVID, two women a week in the UK were murdered by their partner or ex-partner on average, this particular statistic escalated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Recorded data in the first three weeks of lockdown in the UK revealed that 16 domestic abuse killings of women and children took place. In addition, global data suggests that reported domestic abuse (DA) incidents went up by almost 20% during the same time frame.
This e-learning course will consider the extent to which the stress of lockdown and lack of accessible help promotes coercive and controlling behaviour, as well as physical violence. We will look at the range of power, and control dynamics that are used to control partners in intimate relationships– and review how the severity of these dynamics increased during the COVID outbreak. The aim is to enhance our understanding of DA, its impact and long-term effects on survivors. We will look at the spectrum of DA, including the dynamics of control and coercion in emotional abuse through to physical and sexual violence; and the role of shame and humiliation that silences those who are being domestically abused.
The course will consider the use of physical force, sexual violence, financial abuse, spiritual abuse and revenge porn and identify those most at risk of DA, including males and those in the LGBTQ community – we will especially consider the factors that helped increase incidence of such violence and abuse during the pandemic. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the processes involved in DA, such as the grooming of victims, the cycle of abuse, the role of dissociation and the thought blindness that supports the trauma bond. Our aim is to understand how victims may present in practice, to identify signs and symptoms of DA and how they can be supported. We will emphasise the role of attachment and fear of abandonment that underpins much of DA and how this manifests relationally both for the couple and practitioners working with DA.
Specifically, we consider:
- The nature and dynamics of DA, such as the role of charm and enticement, the use of control and coercion, the cycle of abuse, the nature of thought blindness that facilitates the trauma bond and the role of silence, secrecy and shame
- The intergenerational transmission of DA through attachment and relational deficits
- The characteristics of male and female perpetrators
- The impact and long-term effects of DA on partners and children
- Obstacles to leaving an abusive relationship
- The importance of developing safety plans when leaving
- The need for safety and multi-agency collaboration
- The need for longer term therapy using a trauma informed practice model when working with survivors of DA
CPD Hours: 4