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Children living with domestic violence must be treated as victims, says NSPCC

Quarter of a million children living with domestic violence in England

NSPCC is calling upon the 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".

Department for Education figures for 2017/18 show that domestic abuse was a factor in 246,720 child protection assessments across England – more than half of all child protection assessments, where factors were identified.

The government is yet to publish the outcome of last year's consultation on domestic abuse. The NSPCC notes that the proposed new definition of domestic abuse refers only to the effects of abuse on those aged 16 and over, leaving younger children unrecognised by the justice system.

NSPCC states that legal recognition would:

The charity is calling on government to publish their White Paper and help ensure children get the support they need.

Almudena Lara, Head of Policy at the NSPCC, said:

"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."

For the consultation document, click here. For the characteristics of children in need 2017/2018, click here.

13/1/19