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domestic abuse and coercion policy

Withington Contact Centre believes everyone has the right to live safely and without the fear of violence and abuse.  Domestic abuse occurs throughout society, its effects are far-reaching and can impact others, notably children.  We believe all forms of abuse are unacceptable and we believe every child has the right to grow and develop in an environment free of domestic abuse.

Withington Child Contact Centre accepts that some families using the centre will have experienced varying levels of domestic abuse.  We also accept that the centre needs to be organised and run in a way which allows these families, other centre users and volunteers to be safe.  In order to meet these requirements we will ensure that

  1. Our referral form will ask one or more questions about domestic abuse.  No family will be accepted until a referral form has been completed in full and received by the Centre Coordinator.  This information will be discussed further during the pre-contact visits.

  2. Any information concerning domestic abuse or the abuse of drugs/alcohol will be treated seriously

  3. Use of the centre will be denied to individuals or families where the Coordinator feels their presence is a threat to the well-being of other centre users and volunteers

  4. Once a family has been accepted, the Coordinator will consider their needs and develop a means by which these can be met.  These will include

    • Staggered entry times, i.e. one parent arriving early and going upstairs

    • Arranging not to meet, i.e. parents being in different rooms

    • Staggered leaving times

    If parents do not adhere to these arrangements, the Coordinator may no longer allow the family to use the Withington Child Contact Centre

  5. Any distress to children or adults brought about by bullying or pressure to disclose information will be dealt with promptly and firmly

  6. If an individual or family's behaviour is threatening, causes distress or is disruptive, they will be asked to leave

  7. If an individual or family refuses to leave, the police will be called

  8. Referrers and families using the centre will be made aware of this Domestic Abuse & Coercion Policy.  This policy is reviewed annually and updated as necessary.  It was last reviewed in ​March 2024.

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