DVCN - Domestic Violence Co-ordinators Network

The National Domestic Violence Co-ordinator's Network

The Domestic Violence Coordinators Network is designed to support those people who work to make domestic violence partnerships more effective. The role of the domestic violence coordinator (DVC) is crucial and until now, has largely lacked a supportive framework to achieve their objectives.

The role of the DVC began in the late 90's largely on the basis of the Duluth model of coordination. The crime reduction programme funded by the Home Office tended to support this approach and saw the Home Office providing funds for some of these posts. Whilst the role has gone through many iterations since those early days some principles remain sacrosanct. These are:

  • Partnerships are essential to an effective response to Domestic Violence
  • All agencies must be part of the process of securing safety for the victim and their children and to hold perpetrators to account
  • Without an individual or team coordinating this process of partnership positive outcomes will be difficult to achieve

There are now hundreds of individuals throughout the country performing this vital task. Job descriptions, methods of funding and security of tenure differ vastly even when such individuals are geographically proximate. It is apparent that some DVCs are unable to exert the influence the importance of their role and their skills should provide. Others are in a stronger position but all have a key part to play in addressing the breadth of social problems that DV touches.

Two conferences have past demonstrated the need and support for a network of DVCs. The Home Office conference did not lead to concrete developments and it was only after the Standing Together conference for DVCs in 2007 that the process really began.

Standing Together called for volunteers to form a working group which would help to create such a network. Their deliberations have led to this website and the launch of the Domestic Violence Coordinators Network. The intention of the network is to Lobby on local and national issues relating to domestic violence:

  • Ensure the specialist and unique profile of the DVC is understood
  • Explore professional and personal support requirements
  • Offer space to reflect on practice
  • Share good practice
  • Facilitate networking between DVC's
  • Seek to sustain funding for the role
  • Guard the independence

The website is intended to be designed by DVCs for DVCs and as it develops it will be those in this crucial role who ensure its viability, relevance, and effectiveness.

As the network became established and interest to join increased, the benefit of engaging other practitioners even more closely with the work of the DVC was reocognised. In September 2012 the DVCN was expanded to include any practitioner who had a strategic or operational responsibility for Domestic Violence or Violence Against Women and Girls (in accordance with the set DVCN Principles).