The use of technology to support children and young people experiencing domestic violence and abuse during the COVID-19 pandemic: a failure modes and effects analysis

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  • 1 University of Birmingham, , UK
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Technology is an ever-increasing part of most people’s lives and it has been crucial for the delivery of support by domestic violence and abuse (DVA) services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Paradoxically, this same technology has provided perpetrators with new and growing opportunities to continue or escalate their abusive behaviours. This article draws on the experiences of a specialist DVA service for children and young people (CYP) in the United Kingdom reflecting on the use of technology in service delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic. We applied a safety systems approach – a failure modes and analysis (FMEA) to analyse the nature and impacts of service responses. The FMEA shed light on the risks within the environment in which children and young people engage with remote, digital-enabled support. Practitioners, for example, have been unable to determine potential ‘lurking’, whereby other people, including the abusive parent or partner, are present within the room, but out of sight. The FMEA generated 13 ‘corrective actions’ that will be helpful to specialist practitioners supporting children and young people experiencing DVA and to operational managers modifying current services and designing those for the future.

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