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The Linking Abuse and Recovery through Advocacy (for Victims and Perpetrators) LARA-VP is a large and very comprehensive resource to help mental health professionals identify and respond to Domestic Violence and Abuse (DVA).
People presenting to mental health services are particularly likely to have experienced DVA at some point in their lives; some UK surveys have estimated prevalence at 69% among women and 49% among men with severe mental illness in contact with services. Indeed, up to 1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men in contact with mental health services may be experiencing or have recently experienced DVA when you see them.
However, many mental health service users are not asked about their experiences of DVA. In some cases, mental health service users’ disclosures of DVA are not believed, even though false allegations of DVA are rare, and the reliability of mental health service users’ accounts of abuse is both high and very rarely affected by psychiatric symptomatology. As a result, only 10-30% of DVA cases are known to services. Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHR) highlight suboptimal identification, care and information sharing for victims and perpetrators in contact with mental health services prior to the homicide.
This resource will be helpful to a wide professional audience not just those from mental health services. It covers are range of important topics such as preparing to ask, why some service users will not disclose experiences of DVA, why (mental health) professionals might find it difficult to ask about DVA, responding to people with experience of DVA, risk assessment & management, information sharing & safeguarding to name but a few.
The resource pack has been produced by King’s College London, Medical Research Foundation and King’s Health Partners funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).