The Shadow Pandemic strategic learning partnership

The Shadow Pandemic Domestic Abuse Learning Partnership brought together 11 organisations across the sector to develop a better understanding of the experiences of victim-survivors, perpetrators and practitioners across England during the pandemic.

Supported by The National Lottery Community Fund, the partnership saw AAFDA, Chayn, Galop, Imkaan, Respect, Rights of Women, SafeLives, Social Finance, Standing Together, Surviving Economic Abuse and Women’s Aid working together to share expertise. The partnership resulted in a report that brings together the voices of survivors and practitioners, policy and practice expertise, and relevant findings from each organisation to demonstrate what changes are needed in the long-term following the pandemic.

Report findings

Shadow Pandemic – Shining a light on domestic abuse during Covid‘ is a detailed synthesis of the impact of Covid-19 on victim-survivors of domestic abuse and the frontline organisations that support them. It has found that the impact of the pandemic on Black and minoritised victim-survivors and migrant victim-survivors with No Recourse to Public Funds has been particularly acute.

The report also demonstrates innovative responses from across the domestic abuse sector during the pandemic, including the adapting of services in response to changing restrictions and government guidelines. The findings also highlight the impact on frontline professionals in the sector, an increased demand for services and uncertain funding.

What next?

Following the pandemic, demand across the sector is likely to remain high, especially for services addressing intersecting inequalities, such as domestic abuse services for Black and minoritised women or those experiencing poverty.

The partnership is calling for long-term and sustainable funding for specialist services to ensure that all victim-survivors can access timely, accessible and responsive support. Specialist support services for migrant women, Black and minoritised women, women with disabilities, older women and LGBT+ groups must also be prioritised. Further partnership working and collaboration is also needed to improve support for victim-survivors, building on successful collective action during the pandemic. The report includes detailed recommendations as to what action must be taken.

Read the full report