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The children living with domestic abuse in the south west

The children living with domestic abuse in the south west

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 12:36pm 9th March 2020.

It has been revealed how many referrals are being made about children suffering from domestic abuse in the South West.

The NSPCC says there were 450 cases passed onto agencies across our region last year alone.

They charity says many youngsters are living with violence and coercive control every day.

Nationally there has been a 25% rise in referrals it makes to agencies about children experiencing domestic abuse across the country.

Now it is demanding that the government supports youngsters by putting a legal duty on authorities.

The NSPCC wants to see:

  • Recognition of the unique and profound effects domestic abuse has upon children who experience it. 
  • A statutory duty for local agencies to deliver specialist community-based services for children who experience domestic abuse. 
  • A commitment to fully-funded for services and an end to the post code lottery of support that currently exists. 
  • Specialist support for children going through the legal system abuse, whether as victims or witnesses. 
child sad

Case study:

Jess’ father Lee (not his real name) subjected the family to years of domestic abuse and says experiencing it for so long has had a serious long-term impact.

She said: "I was six the first time I saw Lee hit mum. He grabbed her by the throat and slapped her. When I walked in he threw her to the ground. 

"I have anxiety now and can’t be in noisy environments. It will affect me for the rest of my life but I want to raise awareness of domestic abuse and how it can affect children as well as adults."
 
The NSPCC said the impact domestic abuse has on children like Jess who experience it needs to be recognised in legislation.

"Domestic abuse creates a corrosive environment at home which can put children at huge risk of physical and emotional harm, as well as affecting their long term mental health.

"Our Helpline is increasingly having to raise the alarm with local authorities about children living with domestic abuse.  

"But without legal recognition of the impact domestic abuse has on children and a duty on local authorities to provide support services, the help they need is just not in place."

Emily Hilton, Senior Policy and Public Affairs Officer at the NSPCC

The NSPCC says that legal recognition of the effects experiencing domestic abuse has on children would help professionals take action to protect children at risk and put a duty on authorities to ensure there are specific services available to help young people overcome trauma.

Adults concerned about a child living with domestic abuse can contact the NSPCC Helpline confidentially for advice and support on 0808 800 5000 or email help@nspcc.org.uk 

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