Laura Sharman 11 January 2019

Government failing to treat children as victims of domestic abuse, warns charity

Nearly a quarter of a million children should be classed as victims of domestic abuse, the NSPCC has said today.

The charity warns that around 250,000 children in England are not currently being treated as victims as the government’s proposed definition of domestic abuse only refers to the effects of abuse on those aged 16 and over.

Official figures show that domestic abuse was a factor in nearly a quarter of a million child protection assessments in 2017/18 across England. This is more than half of all child protection assessments for the year.

The NSPCC said that a new legal recognition would give children greater protection through domestic abuse protection orders and help professionals take action to protect children at risk.

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.’

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