How to Create an Emergency Safety Plan for Domestic Abuse Perpetrators
This post will give information on how to complete emergency safety planning with perpetrators of domestic abuse in the event that the family goes into isolation.
An estimated 130,000 children in the UK are living in households with high risk domestic abuse. We know that stressful situations can increase the risk of violence and, with workplaces and schools being closed, this will create an incredibly stressful situation for families. For families where coercive control is an issue lockdown means that those who were already controlling and abusing their partners and family are now even more controlling and volatile. How can these families be kept self in the event that they are isolated together for a number of weeks or months?
The following advice can be given to perpetrators to use in the event that their family is put into isolation. This advice should be used alongside safety planning advice given to the victim and children and is meant only for the short term in emergencies and should not be used as a replacement to long term perpetrator programmes/interventions.
Please note that any safety planning work should always have the children's safety and protection as the primary concern. For guidance on how to complete safety planning with the whole family please visit our post How to Complete Safety Planning with a Family.
Infographics for perpetrators, with more concise guidance is available at the end of this post and printable copies are on our resources page. For a copy of our safety rules please visit our post What Safety Rules Can Parents Follow to Reduce the Risk of Harm from Violence?
Ask for help - have emergency numbers ready for him to use should he need support to contain his feelings, this could include the Samaritans, the Respect helpline and any other local available help or support (helplines are given at the end of this post)
Stay active - encourage him to exercise where possible and complete household tasks
Self talk - practice positive self-talk, as an example try using the article how to use positive self talk for stress relief
Safety rules - follow the safety rules (which includes, amongst others, not using drugs or alcohol, no shouting and not arguing in front of the children) and any other behaviour or safety plans already in place
Take responsibility - remind him that it is his responsibility to contain and moderate his behaviour to help keep his partner and family safe and also that his children will learn about relationships from observing him.
Respectful relationships - use the equality wheel as a reminder of what a respectful relationship looks. A copy of the wheel is on the infographic below and is also available in several different languages on the Duluth model website https://www.theduluthmodel.org/wheel-gallery/
Follow government advice - advise him that he should not invite any friends or family to the house whilst the government advice remains in place
Use the plan - he must use the safety plan before matters escalate
It is important that these rules are clear and well known to the perpetrator who agrees to follow them as part of their safety plan.
Emergency advice that can be given to perpetrators is available on the following infographics, you can print these yourself from our resources page or contact us to receive by email or printed copies.
DV-ACT experts are here to help you keep children safe at this very difficult time. For further advice on working with families affected by domestic abuse, or if you would like more information on our risk assessment training, or other services we provide, please visit our site dvact.org or contact us to speak to one of our experts.
Our experts are still available to complete risk assessments remotely in the event of a nationwide shutdown or families being kept in isolation.
Helplines are available for both perpetrators and victims of domestic abuse:
National Domestic Violence Helpline – 0808 2000 247
The Men’s Advice Line, for male domestic abuse survivors – 0808 801 0327
Respect phoneline for perpetrators of domestic abuse - 0808 8024040
The Mix, free information and support for under 25s in the UK – 0808 808 4994
National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0800 999 5428
Our experts have decades of experience working directly with domestic abuse perpetrators and victims, as specialist assessors and as expert witnesses in the family courts.
DV-ACT was formed with the aim of using our expertise to help safeguard children from abuse, this is at the heart of everything that we do.