Refuge responds to new NICE guidelines on preventing domestic violence

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) today published new guidance to raise awareness among healthcare professionals coming into contact with victims


Sandra Horley CBE, chief executive of Refuge

Sandra Horley CBE, chief executive of Refuge, national domestic violence charity, says:

“Refuge welcomes today’s guidance from NICE, which centres around the urgent need for training on domestic violence for healthcare professionals. Healthcare professionals and healthcare providers have a crucial role to play in identifying and preventing domestic violence – a crime which kills two women every week and harms untold numbers of children.

“This guidance will only become meaningful when domestic violence training is mandatory and actively implemented across adult and child services. Training must be tailored, monitored, evaluated and frequently refreshed. Gaining a deep understanding of the complex risks and dynamics of domestic violence is key to providing appropriate support to women and children. Training will help to change negative attitudes and ensure best practice responses to vulnerable victims – responses that save and change lives.

“Refuge also endorses the recommendations in the guidance which urge all healthcare commissioners to recognise the unique and essential role that specialist domestic violence services play. It is vital that healthcare commissioners fund specialist services like those provided by Refuge, which support 3,000 women and children on any given day.

“The challenge ahead will be for NICE to ensure that these recommendations move beyond rhetoric into reality. Robust implementation is the key. What matters is deeds, not words.”