Domestic violence and abuse: identifying and responding to victims and perpetrators

by Professor Louise M. Howard


Last reviewed: October 2019


Domestic violence and abuse (DVA) is defined as 'controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality' (HM Government, 2018a). It includes psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional abuse, and is a major public health problem.


Patients in contact with psychiatric services are at particularly high risk of being victims of DVA, and there is also evidence that mental disorder is associated with DVA perpetration.


This module will improve your knowledge of the relationship between DVA and mental health, and will enable you to identify and safely respond to those at risk. The module will include information on:


  • the risk factors for DVA


  • the prevalence of DVA in people with mental disorders


  • the recommendations made by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) on how mental health professionals should identify and respond to DVA, including risk assessment


  • multi-agency responsibilities, including safeguarding, Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARACs) and statutory domestic homicide reviews.

Start the module


If you like this module, you may also be interested in:

Morbid jealousy by Dr Jens Wiebe, Dr Emmanuel Okoro and Dr David Reiss


Psychiatric aspects of homicide by Dr Darran Bloye and Dr Anna Machin


Podcast The role of mentalising in the management of violence with Dr Gwen Adshead


BJPsych Advances: related articles for CPD Online


Related Advances articles


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