Event – GBV research group – ‘Locked in during a triple pandemic: Survivors’ experiences of accessing domestic abuse support services during Covid-19’

Date and Time – Tuesday 30th November, 2021 – 15:30-17:00

Dr. Gayatri Nambiar-Greenwood, Dr. Debbie Thackray, Margaret Struthers, Prof Khatidja Chantler (Principal Investigator)

This seminar focuses on the experiences of 15 survivors of Domestic Violence and Abuse (DVA) during different phases of the pandemic, relating to accessing and engaging with safeguarding services. Through survivor experiences, we identify challenges pertinent to them, in terms of successes, failures and as a way of informing future service development. The paper will consider views from a range of survivor voices, including Black and Minoritised women, those with no recourse to public funds and survivors whose experience of abuse do not fit the normal categories under which Domestic Violence and Abuse are normally characterised.

The analysis highlights that there are still knowledge gaps in understanding and identifying different forms of abuse which subsequently shaped poor responses to victim-survivors. Intersectionality is central to responding sensitively and appropriately as is the need for post-separation support. Isolation was a major issue, prior to separation and after, and exacerbated mental health for both women and their children. For minoritized women who had ‘No recourse to Public Funds’, pathways to leaving the perpetrator was challenged by lack of resources, funds and increased pressure on safe accommodation. These were key barriers, as was ‘cultural bereavement’ which was an inherent part of post-separation life for most survivors. There were also reports of supportive experiences across all statutory services, who explained, supported, monitored, and worked creatively during this challenging time to support the survivors. There is much to learn from these accounts for a range of services to work towards a more holistic and supportive framework for all victim-survivors and their children.

The study website and outputs can be accessed at:

Please see our briefing paper accessed at:


DASC (Domestic Abuse Safeguarding during Covid-19) research project which is a UK- based research study, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), as part of UK Research and Innovation’s rapid response to Covid-19 (ES/V015745/1).

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