A campaign which supports children who witness domestic abuse is now going Sussex-wide.
Operation Encompass, which was launched in West and East Sussex, is now being rolled out to the majority of schools in Brighton.
The campaign is a safeguarding partnership between police and schools, according to officers.
The domestic abuse notification process allows information to be passed to a school key adult in the strictest confidence.
That way, appropriate support can then be provided to that child or young person.
Detective Chief Inspector Pip Taylor from the force’s Public Protection Command said:
“Children and young people are often hidden victims when it comes to domestic abuse and this notification can help support them to deal with what can be a traumatic adverse experience.
“We know that, on average, 35 incidents of domestic abuse can be experienced before police are called; therefore, it is imperative that we make schools aware of this, to ensure that child is safe and protected.
“The purpose of this operation is to help stop children becoming stuck on that devastating cycle that domestic abuse can create.
“Until launching in West Sussex over the past year, starting in January 2018 following a pilot scheme in Crawley, there were no such procedures in place in Sussex for early reporting to schools following domestic abuse incidents.
“East Sussex started to adopt the process in December and we are so pleased that Brighton has seen the positive results from West Sussex and are also now adopting.”
When police find that a child or young person has been involved or exposed to a domestic abuse incident, the school is notified before the start of the next school day, according to officers.
The force said more than 1,200 notifications have been made to schools in West Sussex so far.
Sussex is one of many police forces that have adopted Operation Encompass.
Anna Gianfrancesco, Head of Safeguarding and Quality Assurance for Children Families and Learning at Brighton and Hove City Council said:
“The Brighton and Hove Local Safeguarding Children’s Board (LSCB) and the Local Authority are working with schools in Brighton and Hove to support the roll out of Operation Encompass.
“This approach will enable schools to quickly respond to children and young people who are experiencing domestic abuse.
“Schools often are not aware that a domestic incident has happened the previous day or over the weekend.
“This will mean that immediately after the event, they will be able to offer a light touch approach to support the child or more support as needed.”
More information about Operation encompass can be found here.
Incidents can be reported online here.