The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Domestic Violence and Abuse launched an inquiry into mental health and domestic abuse in July 2021 with oral and written evidence received from survivors, specialist domestic abuse organisations, health experts and academics. The APPG examined the experiences of survivors and the specialist services working to meet their needs. The Group are clear that despite an increase in media and political attention over the last decade, there continue to be many barriers and challenges facing survivors when trying to access help for their mental health needs. The APPG therefore has the following recommendations:
- Domestic abuse, and its impact on survivors’ mental health, should be recognised as a public health priority;
- Embed a whole-system approach to prioritising domestic abuse across NHS Trusts, with a focus on tackling victim-blaming culture and structural inequalities, and setting a clear vision for success;
- Improve the data collection and monitoring of the mental health needs of survivors by requiring;
- Ring-fenced funding for specialist community-based services and ‘by and for’ services in the forthcoming Victims’ Bill, and increased funding for specialist refuges through Part 4 of the Domestic Abuse Act.
The APPG is committed to ensuring these changes are delivered and that survivors of domestic abuse receive adequate support for their mental health needs.
Find out more on the Women’s Aid website.