News articles and updates

The below captures some of the latest articles, research and news that is relevant to Adult Safeguarding.

An introduction to the work of Disability Advice Service Lambeth (dasl)

Disability Advice Service Lambeth

The UN's International Day of Persons with Disabilities takes place every year on the 3rd December. In 2018 the focus is on empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality. To mark this day, Lauren Johnson-King, the Direct Payments Team Leader & Assistant Director from Disability Advice Service Lambeth, has written a guest post to highlight the important work they do to give disabled people a voice:

 

Disability Advice Service Lambeth (dasl) is a Disabled People’s Organisation who have worked with, and on behalf of Disabled people in Lambeth since 2001. We work with people of all ages, and from all impairment groups including people with mental health problems. We also provide some of our services to carers, including parent carers, and older people.

Our charity is controlled by Disabled people through our Management Committee, which has a majority of Disabled trustees, and our growing membership.

Our aim is to enable Disabled people to achieve their legal rights, have control over how and where they live, play an active role in their communities, grow their skills and have a voice to influence change.

We provide a range of high quality information, advice and advocacy services as well as support with direct payments, community development work, and activities programmes, including the London Stroke Choir and IntoSport project.

Our independent advocacy service supports many Disabled and older Lambeth residents to exercise their rights as well as enabling Lambeth Council fulfil its duties under the Care Act 2014 by ensuring those eligible can access independent advocacy support during various social care processes.

Our advocates support people who have difficulties speaking up, understanding information or exercising their rights to say what they want, secure their rights and be more involved in processes and decisions about their lives. We support people with a range of issues and in a variety of different situations including people who are being abused. We can support people to understand what abuse is and how to get help and advice about keeping safe. We can support people to be part of safeguarding enquiries that Lambeth Adult Social Care undertake and speak up on behalf of people to ensure action is taken to stop, prevent or minimise the risk of abuse occurring.

We operate from fully accessible office premises at “we are 336” in Brixton, which is a Hate Crime Reporting Centre. This means that Disabled people and others concerned for their safety and welfare can visit or contact the centre and receive advice, advocacy and support from our Disability Hate Crime Advocacy and Outreach Worker.

In 2017-18 we supported 27 people to report a Disability Hate Crime to the police, the highest in London.

We are a proud partner of the Independent Living and Carer’s Partnership (ILCP), a group of local charities working together for a better Lambeth. Our Community Development, Direct Payments Support and Professional Advocacy services are provided through the ILCP.

If you want to find out more about dasl and the work we do in Lambeth, please visit our website: http://www.disabilitylambeth.org.uk/ or call us on 020 7738 5656.

 

LGBT+ people's experiences of domestic abuse

GALOP

GALOP have released a new report on LGBT+ people’s experience of domestic abuse. The report provides analysis of 626 cases reported to Galop between January 2013 and August 2017 that were domestic abuse related, and outlines a set of recommendations which call for the continued need for specialist LGBT+ services and for services to acknowledge and recognise unique experiences of LGBT+ victims/survivors of domestic abuse.

Domestic abuse incidents were reported from across all London boroughs. Lambeth is the borough with the highest proportion of reported incidents, a reflection of our borough’s demographics.

The report also shows that LGBT+ victims/survivors disclosing domestic abuse often report multiple vulnerabilities as a result of their sexual orientation, gender identity, physical/mental ill health or substance abuse. 55% of victims/survivors disclosed a disability. Previous studies suggest that those LGBT+ victims/survivors who identify as disabled or have a long-term impairment, are more likely to have experienced at least one form of domestic abuse during their lifetime. This report also supports previous finding that LGBT+ victims accessing service present disproportionally higher levels of additional risks, and are more likely to disclose drug or alcohol issues and poorer mental health.

The full report can be found here.

GALOP offer emotional and practical support for LGBT+ people experiencing domestic abuse. People can call their London help line on 020 7704 2040, or report incidents online. For further information on GALOP can help and to access resources for professionals, please visit the GALOP website.

 

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

#EndVAW

Lambeth marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on Sunday 25 November 2018. The day aims to raise awareness of the fact that women in Lambeth and around the world are disproportionately subject to sexual violence, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), domestic violence and other forms of violence.

Lambeth Council’s and its partners are committed to making Lambeth a borough in which residents don’t have to be fearful of, or experience, gender based violence. Ending violence against women and girls is one of our key priorities; with work focusing on preventing violence from happening in the first place, providing appropriate support and protection to victims and prosecuting and holding perpetrators to account, when violence does happen.

What is Violence Against Women and Girls?

Lambeth Council defines violence against women and girls (VAWG) as “any act of violence that is directed at a woman because she is a woman, or acts of violence which are suffered disproportionally by women”, this includes domestic violence which disproportionately impacts women and girls. Our approach to VAWG is outlined in our Safer Lambeth VAWG Strategy which shows how our priorities are being addressed.

Support for victims

Lambeth Council commissions the Gaia Centre, the first integrated VAWG centre in the UK. They provide a one-to-one confidential and bespoke support service for females aged 13+ and males aged 16+ who live in Lambeth and who have experienced or who may be at risk of gender based violence. Gaia is free and staffed by female members of staff only. Child care provision is available.

Victims can self-refer by calling 0207 733 8724 or emailing lambethvawg@refuge.org.uk. The centre is open 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday with an out-of-hours 24 hour on-call service.

If someone is in immediate danger, always advise them to call the police on 999.

The Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC), bringing agencies together to share information and create safety plans for victims who are at high risk of homicide or serious injury as a result of domestic abuse. The Lambeth Prostitution Group (LPG) provides the same function for those involved in prostitution in Lambeth who are at high risk of harm. Professionals can refer to the Lambeth MARAC or LPG by contacting lambethmarac@lambeth.gov.uk

Risk assessment

The Lambeth Safeguarding Adults Board is committed to improving professional responses to domestic abuse and promotion of the SafeLives DASH RIC assessment tool. Lambeth Adult Social Care (ASC) have recently updated their domestic abuse policy and have conducted training sessions for staff in partnership with the VAWG Team. Find guidance on the policy here. In order to encourage ASC colleagues to assess risk in relation to domestic abuse, the Safe Lives DASH RIC has been embedded within Safeguarding Adults forms in Mosaic (ASC database) since October 2017. Further developments by the end of 2018 will provide access to the SafeLives DASH RIC assessment and Lambeth MARAC referral form in Mosaic, for work with clients where the Safeguarding Adults Threshold has not been met.

Training

Lambeth Council, and its partners, provides a range of free training on all areas of VAWG to professionals working with Lambeth residents who are at risk of, or are experiencing gender based violence. We also offer bespoke training to agencies on an outreach basis to ensure the sessions are relevant to particular client groups. If you are a professional interested in training please contact the VAWG Senior Officer Ella Pollock: Epollock2@lambeth.gov.uk


 

Recognising 'honour-based' violence as a form of abuse

Metropolitan Police Service’s resource

Last year, the Lambeth Safeguarding Adults Board conducted a survey to find out what people living and working in Lambeth knew about safeguarding adults.

One finding from this survey was that so-called ‘honour-based violence’ was less likely to be recognised as a form of adult abuse. It is often linked to family members or acquaintances who mistakenly believe someone has brought shame to their family or community by doing something that is not in keeping with the traditional beliefs of their culture. Fear of honour based violence or punishment can also be a barrier to people seeking support when they are suffering abuse or neglect.

Incidents also often have an overlap with other categories of Adult abuse. An adult who is at risk of honour based violence is at risk of significant harm through physical, sexual and psychological and emotional harm. In some cases they are also at risk of being killed.

Indicators that someone may be experiencing ‘Honour Based Violence’ include signs of:

  • Domestic abuse and coercive and controlling behaviour by partner or family members;

  • Pressure on the person to go abroad by partner, family, or community members;

  • Excessive restriction of movement/travel and other activities (such as house arrest);

  • Increased isolation, and denial of access to the telephone, internet, passport and friends.

  • Family members cancelling arranged care and support services in place (to limit the opportunities for the adult to disclose concerns to professionals).

Any information or concern that an Adult is at risk of or has already suffered Honour-based violence, should be referred to the police. In an emergency, do not delay, and call 999.

Where the person is an ‘adult at risk’ (vulnerable because they have care needs and are unable to protect themselves from harm), a Safeguarding Adults Concern should be raised with the Local Authority: 0207 926 5555.

For more information on honour based violence, or to seek support, please visit:

  • Metropolitan Police Service’s resource outlining the help and support available from Community Safety Units. Remember, you do not have to wait for a crime to be committed to approach the police to talk about your fears. They are here to help you and make you safe even if nothing ‘criminal’ has happened yet. The police take honour based violence very seriously and take great care to handle all cases with sensitivity and confidentiality.

  • Karma Nirvana, a national charity working to support victims of forced marriage and honour-based violence. They run a 24/7 helpline for victims as well as those working to support victims. To get free and confidential help, call 08000 5999 247.