EYFS: 3.4, 3.6, 3.7

The UK’s cross-government definition of domestic abuse is:

“Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or 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. This abuse can encompass but is not limited to

  • psychological
  • physical
  • sexual
  • financial
  • emotional

The Serious Crime Act 2015 section 76 created a new offence of “controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate or family relationship”.

The Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 extended provisions to help stop domestic abuse and created the new offence of “causing or allowing the death of a child or vulnerable adult”. This Act was amended in 2012 by the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims (Amendment) Act 2012 to include ‘causing or allowing serious physical harm (equivalent to grievous bodily harm) to a child or vulnerable adult’.

Where domestic abuse is taking place in a child’s home the child is at risk of harm, whether they witness the violence or not. This may take the form of physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse or neglect. At Lemongrove Nursery, we ensure that if there are any signs or symptoms that domestic abuse may be occurring we act without haste and follow our main safeguarding / child protection policy.

Signs may include:

  • Visible signs of injury on the adult being abused
  • Changes in behaviour of the adult(s) and child – e.g. the abused adult may become withdrawn, show low levels of self-esteem
  • One adult being visible worried about what their partner may say in a certain situation (e.g. if the child has become dirty or injured at nursery)
  • One adult becoming scared of their partner
  • Adults becoming isolated from their friends or family
  • Signs of abuse in the child (as per the main safeguarding policy)

As part of our duty to keep children safe we will ensure that support  leaflets and numbers for females and males who may be experiencing domestic abuse. These will be clearly displayed in the entrance hall and on notice boards within the nursery. It will be the responsibility of our Safeguarding Lead, Megan Groves to ensure this information is visible and current.

Honour based Violence

‘Honour’ based violence (HBV) is a type of domestic abuse which occurs in the name of so called ‘honour’. 

Some families believe that certain actions bring shame on the family and may react with punishment. This may be rejecting a forced marriage, having a relationship not approved by the family, wearing the wrong clothing or wearing makeup. This can happen in families from a variety of cultures and countries and also happens within the UK. 

Signs of HBV may include changes in behaviour of the person undergoing the violence, changes in how they dress or act and also in the comments they make. 

If signs of HBV are present in a parent or staff member within the nursery then we will act and follow our safeguarding policy to keep children safe in the environment as well as seeking support for the adult involved. 

Forced Marriage 

The staff team of Lemongrove Nursery are aware arranged marriages are part of some cultural practices. We also recognise there is a clear distinction between a marriage in which both parties are willing and able to give an informed consent to, and a marriage which is forced. Forced marriage is a criminal offence.

A forced marriage is a marriage in which one or both spouses do not and/or cannot consent to the marriage and duress is involved. If we become aware of a forced marriage occurring then we will report it to the appropriate body, following guidelines from the FMU. If the person is under the age of 18 then we will report it to the children’s social care team as this is a child protection issue. We will follow our safeguarding reporting procedure.

This policy was adopted onSigned on behalf of the nurseryDate for review
14th May 2019
1st April 2020

Issued May 2019, to be reviewed annually