Is it not time we tackled domestic abuse at root cause?

There are many fantastic organisations out there tackling the effects of domestic abuse, but here at NLS we want to stop it from ever happening.

We believe we need to tackle this in the classroom and educate our children about the signs of domestic abuse and why certain behaviours are unacceptable. In fact, in 2008 “Refuge” reported primary prevention work was ‘the weakest part of the UK responses to domestic abuse’.

We recognise a 1, 2 or 3 year plan will not address the causes, that is why at NLS we say we want to “Educate a Generation” a much longer term plan, starting in schools and educating our children about not just identifying the signs of domestic abuse but understanding and STOPPING the behaviours that lead to domestic abuse later in life. Is it not time to ensure PHSE lessons, and domestic abuse specifically within these lessons, is taught as a mandatory part of the curriculum?

Whilst NLS has continued to grow since its novation in 2018, we have seen the number of domestic abuse cases we are dealing with are not falling away. With the drive in the media to make sure there is better awareness of domestic abuse and the statutory changes widening the definition of domestic abuse, that may have led to an increase in some survivors seeking protection from the family court. But, we also know from experience, those survivors coming forward is still only the tip of the iceberg. So many of us will have experienced domestic abuse on a level, either directly or indirectly via those we know and many more of us may have experienced it as children. The question is around how many children grow up with domestic abuse and end up normalising it and then go on to be victims/survivors themselves and how many go on to become perpetrators, whether directly or as a result of not knowing what constitutes abusive behaviour. If we can use our expertise at NLS to arrange and deliver some training in schools, across all levels of education, then we may be able to play a serious part in attempting to change the way society looks at domestic abuse; hopefully stopping some incidents before they happen. Ambitious, yes. But, with a combined effort from other professionals keen to educate a generation about domestic abuse, it is something we at NLS are committed to lead.