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Calls for children living with domestic violence to be recognised as victims

domestic violence

Published by the Eagle Radio News Team at 5:27pm 10th January 2019. (Updated at 5:07am 11th January 2019)

Up to 7449 children living with domestic violence in Surrey and Hampshire are not currently being treated as victims

The NSPCC is calling on the government to recognise children as ‘victims’ when they are living in homes where domestic abuse is happening – to make sure they get the support they need.

The charity say they believe the new definition of domestic abuse – as proposed by the Government – ignores the effect that growing up in abusive households has on children.

They are pushing for the government to publish its Domestic Violence and Abuse White Paper immediately and recognise children as victims in its domestic abuse laws.

7,377 calls were made to the NSPCC helpline over the 2017/18 period from members of the public concerned about children in domestic abuse situations.

Figures show that in Surrey and Hampshire, domestic violence was a factor in 7449 child protection assessments over that time period.

The advantage of legally recognising children as victims of domestic abuse would mean greater protection for youngsters affected. 

It would also make professionals more likely to take action to protect them. 

Additionally, the charity say it would assist authorities in making sure the right services are in place to help young people overcome trauma associated with exposure to domestic abuse.

NSPCC Head of Policy Almudena Lara says:

"It is quite astonishing that the government is dragging its feet when deciding whether to recognise young people as victims when almost a quarter of a million children that we know of are living with domestic abuse in England alone.


"As well as the day-to-day distress that living with domestic abuse creates, it can cause long-term problems into adulthood that can only be addressed through targeted services that understand the complex trauma children living with domestic abuse experience.

“For this to be done effectively we need government to open their eyes to the harm domestic abuse has on children and give them victim status in the upcoming White Paper to ensure they receive the services they need.”

Services such as the NSPCC’s Domestic Abuse, Recovering Together (DART) help children and mothers recover from domestic abuse together and can help minimise the long term impact domestic abuse has on child victims.

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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