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Protocol for reporting domestic violence and child abuse

In accordance with Article 1.21 of the WHW, Leiden University is obliged to draw up a reporting protocol that students and staff can follow if they perceive signs that students, children, or staff are experiencing domestic violence or child abuse.

This includes not only suspicions of physical violence, but also psychological or sexual violence and neglect. 

Steps to take if you suspect domestic violence or child abuse  

Do you suspect that a student is experiencing domestic violence or child abuse? Or a child who is participating in an activity organised by the University? If so, follow the steps listed below. 

•    First, write down the signs you have observed and what your suspicions are based on.
•    Next, contact the University’s Security Department (veiligheidszaken@bb.leidenuniv.nl), Advisory Team for Concerning or Threatening Behaviour (adviespuntzg@sea.leidenuniv.nl) or the student psychologists (psychologen@sea.leidenuniv.nl) to discuss the situation.
•    Draw up a plan of action together and (if necessary) involve  Veilig Thuis Hollands Midden. This can also be done anonymously.
•    Invite the student to discuss the situation.

Where can I report domestic violence or child abuse?

If your suspicions are confirmed when talking to the student, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does this concern an acute or regularly occurring unsafe situation? If so, you are advised to report it to Veilig Thuis Hollands Midden not compulsory). This can be done anonymously if required.
  • Can the university itself provide or arrange help? Discuss the possibilities with the government’s advisory centre for worrying behaviour: Meldpunt zorgwekkend gedrag.
  • If help via the university is not an option, it is important to report the situation to Veilig Thuis Hollands Midden.

What is meant by domestic violence and child abuse

•    Domestic violence: physical, mental, or sexual violence, or threat thereof, by someone in the domestic circle. Violence is interpreted as a physical, sexual, psychological, or economic attack on the victim’s personal integrity. This also includes abuse of the elderly, violence against parents, female genital mutilation, marital coercion, and honour-related violence. By the victim's domestic circle is meant family members, housemates, spouse or former spouse, partner or former partner, and informal carers.

•    Child abuse: all form of threatening or violent interaction of a physical, psychological, or sexual nature, which is actively or passively imposed on a minor by the parents, or by other persons with whom the minor is in a relationship of dependency or non-freedom. This resulting in serious harm or risk of serious harm to the minor in the form of physical or psychological injury. This includes honour-related violence, marital coercion, female genital mutilation, and the witnessing of domestic violence between parents or other household members.

More information

For more information on the protocol and assessment framework, visit this government website. If you have further questions, contact the University’s Advisory Team for Concerning or Threatening Behaviour via adviespuntzg@sea.leidenuniv.nl. For questions about specific cases, please follow the steps as stated above.

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