Press Release Press Release Press Release

5 October 2000


Professional help for the 25% of women who have experienced domestic violence is "inadequate", according to a new publication by the Community Practitioners' and Health Visitors' Association.

Health visitors and community practitioners are in the forefront of providing assistance to the estimated third-to-a-quarter of all women who have suffered abuse, says the CPHVA's Domestic Violence, a Framework of Good Practice briefing document.

The booklet outlines current practice and the best ways of dealing with individual situations. A detailed training pack for health professionals called Understanding Domestic Violence will also be launched by the CPHVA this autumn.

The booklet said: "The seriousness of the health impact of domestic violence is reflected in mortality rates which indicate that, on average, two women per week are killed in England and Wales by their partners or ex-partners."

The booklet points to the fact that community practitioners, as a mainly female workforce, may themselves have had experience of domestic violence.

The CPHVA's Professional Officer for Education, Sarah Forester said: "It is clear more resources need to be allocated to tackling this phenomena which is affecting millions of women each year, and is a major health issue for them and their children. There needs to be a more co-ordinated inter-agency approach."

"Health visitors and school nurses are often the first professionals to spot signs of domestic violence within families - but at present the community practitioner workforce is spread too thinly to be totally effective. Appropriate services need to be in place to support the role of community nurses"

Dr Sue Peckover, Lecturer, School of Nursing & Midwifery at Sheffield University, who wrote the booklet, said: "Domestic violence is an important public health issue which affects large numbers of women and their children."

"While community practitioners are particularly well placed to support women experiencing domestic violence, it is important that they develop strategies based upon good practice. Ideally, these must be underpinned by relevant training, and take place within the context of improved inter-agency working."



For further information, please contact

Shaun Noble, Press Officer


(020) 7939 7043

0468 69 39 40 (mobile)

CPHVA press releases can be seen on the CPHVA web site:

The CPHVA is an autonomous professional section of the Manufacturing, Science and Finance union. The CPHVA represents 18,000 health visitors, school nurses, practice nurses and registered nurses working in the community in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.