To read this content please select one of the options below:

Carers and domestic abuse – the elephant in the room?

Amanda Warburton-Wynn (Cambridge, UK)

The Journal of Adult Protection

ISSN: 1466-8203

Article publication date: 19 December 2022

Issue publication date: 7 February 2023




The purpose of this paper is to highlight the issue of carers as victims and perpetrators of domestic abuse. The issue of carers as victims, and sometimes perpetrators, of domestic abuse is being overlooked by statutory organisations because they often do not fit the traditional patterns of abusive relationships, and the complexities of the caring role can make typical safety options unsuitable. However, caring responsibilities are a feature of an increasing number of domestic homicide reviews, and current statutory safeguarding options exclude most carers from support and risk not identifying perpetrators.


This short paper highlights some of the shortfalls around identifying the needs of carer victims/survivors of domestic abuse and carer-perpetrators of domestic abuse and explores ways in which identification and support could be improved.


Carers as victims/survivors of domestic abuse, and as abusers, is an issue that requires more attention from researchers and Adult Social Care, NHS, Carer Support Organisations and Domestic Abuse specialists need to work together to explore these issues and offer workable options.


Little data or research exists around carers as victims or perpetrators of domestic abuse.



Warburton-Wynn, A. (2023), "Carers and domestic abuse – the elephant in the room?", The Journal of Adult Protection, Vol. 25 No. 1, pp. 14-19.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles