This page is to help workers and volunteers manage the impact of harmful adult behaviours on children and young people.

Domestic abuse

For help and advice in dealing with domestic abuse, visit the Domestic and Sexual Violence and Abuse Alliance or Devon Domestic Abuse Support Services. You can download domestic abuse awareness raising posters here.

Devon’s vision ‘To end domestic and sexual violence and abuse (DSVA) in Devon’

Devon has published its strategy for domestic and sexual violence and abuse. To read more please click here.

Dr Virginia Pearson, Director of Public Health who oversaw the development of the strategy describes it as ‘a call to arms. Domestic and sexual violence and abuse is rooted in society and it happens in all of our communities. We all have a role to play in modelling healthy relationships. We must challenge violence and abuse in what-ever way we are able.’

This strategy sets an ambition to end DSVA. DSVA is a common feature in child protection cases and the strategy forms part of Devon’s plan to give children the best start in life by supporting people to build positive, healthy relationships, to intervene where necessary to protect vulnerable children and young people, and to provide positive environments for children.

The strategy adopted an ethnographic approach  – hearing the powerful real life stories of people in Devon who have experienced domestic and sexual violence and abuse; meeting with perpetrators of domestic and sexual violence and abuse who were participants in a community perpetrator programme; engaging with frontline practitioners and facilitating workshops across the partnership. The strategy also draws upon DSCBs Multi Agency Case Audit of Families where the Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference was a feature.

This strategy recognises that women and men can both be victims of DSVA but our experience in Devon and national and international research shows a gender bias where women are predominantly the victims. Currently services focus on victims of violence and abuse with the people who perpetrate the abuse often being allowed to hide in the background. The strategy puts more emphasis on the role of the perpetrator and the need to challenge, disrupt and end the perpetration of violence and abuse.

Whilst Devon’s vision is ambitious, the impact of domestic and sexual violence and abuse on the lives, and health and wellbeing of people who experience it can be devastating. The effects are far reaching, impacting on victims, their children, families, friends, co-workers and ultimately on our local communities. The emotional and personal costs of shattered childhoods and broken families cannot be measured. In extreme cases, domestic and sexual violence and abuse can lead to murder.

For more information about DSVA; the MARAC process; training and help and support please go to


Mental health

Think child, think parent, think family: A guide to parental mental health and child welfare – published by SCIE (Social Care Institute of Excellence) 2011. This guide is for frontline and managerial staff in mental health and children’s services.