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Midwives are not immune

Dr O’Doherty explains the types of interventions that have been evaluated in research studies.

Domestic violence and abuse affects professionals including midwives and others working in maternity services.

Aside from co-creating this course, Dr Sally Pezaro has also worked in partnership with the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) to explore midwives’ experiences of domestic violence and abuse (DVA) in their own lives and the workplace support available to them in this area. This work resulted in the following (PDF) RCM report being published with recommendations: Safe places? Workplace support for those experiencing domestic abuse.

In the video above, Dr Sally Pezaro shares insights on what it might mean for maternity staff, healthcare services and those experiencing DVA.

Report recommendations

Health boards should:

  • Develop specific policies to support staff who are victims of domestic abuse, aligned to existing guidance from the NHS Staff Council developed in 2017. Local policies should be developed in partnership with staff-side representatives, with detailed commitments to provide special paid leave, adjustments to working arrangements and safety considerations if appropriate.
  • Provide and publicise confidential domestic abuse support services for affected staff, including access to Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs), external counselling and legal services as appropriate.
  • Ensure that all managers and supervisors are trained on domestic abuse issues so that they can recognise signs of domestic abuse in their staff and confidently undertake their safeguarding obligations.
  • Ensure that staff at all levels are trained on domestic abuse issues and made aware of relevant workplace policies as part of their induction programme and continuous updating and are made aware of support services.


Reflect on how you might use the findings of this report to support maternity staff experiencing DVA. How might you support colleagues more effectively in practice?
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Identifying and Responding to Domestic Violence and Abuse (DVA) in Pregnancy

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