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Children 'Forgotten Victims' of Domestic Violence

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3:32pm 25th February 2014
(Updated 3:32pm 25th February 2014)

Pirate FM has learnt children are caught up in more than a third of domestic abuse cases in Cornwall.

That is around 2,600 call outs a year.

More than 800 youngsters in the Duchy are living at homes officially branded "high risk" - a number that leapt 26% in 2011/12.

Now there are calls for more support and protection.

It is because the government counts "safe rooms" used to escape a violent partner as a spare bedroom - and therefore subject to the so-called "bedroom tax."

The council says around five people a year are helped to construct one to protect themselves and their children.

Now it is considering refunding reductions in housing benefit, while lobbying the government for an official exemption.

Polly Neate is from charity Women's Aid. She said: "We want to see professionals work in a joined up way. We want to see the needs of children taken into account, support for victims of domestic violence at an earlier stage that doesn't make them fear they are going to lose their children.

"Before a woman reports domestic violence to the police on average she will have experienced 35 separate incidents. If you think about the experience of the child that is living with that what we really want is to have a much greater situation of trust."

3:32pm 25th February 2014

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