Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care


How can schools and communities help children with violent home lives?

9 May 2023

Dawid Gondek from the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health writes for our Child of our Time blog about research highlighting how providing adolescents with positive experiences outside the the home can play a part supporting them through domestic violence.

Parent and child

In its Tackling Domestic Abuse Plan, which followed the passing of the Domestic Abuse Act 2021, the UK Government recognised that children were among the victims of domestic abuse and set out plans to alleviate the issue. These included pledges from a range of government departments, including:

  • A promise from the Department for Education to share information on ‘What Works’ trials with schools and other partners, and to work with experts to develop a package of support for teachers.
  • A Home Office pledge of £84,000 to support development of tools to measure the effectiveness of interventions with children experiencing domestic abuse, and also a promise to increase funding for organisations providing specialist support.
  • A further promise by the Home Office to provide a National Teachers’ Helpline under its ‘Operation Encompass’ programme, which supports schools on domestic violence issues; and to ensure police attending incidents share information with health visitors.
  • A Ministry of Justice plan to increase funding for community-based services to support victims and survivors of domestic abuse.

Using data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, Dawid Gondek from UCL's Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health and colleagues looked at ways in which violence between adults in the home – known as Intimate Partner Violence or IPV – affected children’s mental health, and the extent to which positive experiences could help prevent long-term damage.

Read his blog here