Laura Sharman 21 November 2019

Nearly 700 children a day at risk of domestic violence

Many children facing domestic abuse are failing to get the support they need because of a 'postcode lottery' for services, a new report has warned today.

An investigation by Action for Children found access to children’s domestic abuse services was restricted by their postcode in over a third of local authorities.

AIt also found over 10% of councils interviewed had no specialist support services for children affected by domestic abuse.

Figures show that 690 children are at risk of domestic violence every day in England. The charity warns this is the equivalent of over 25,000 children during the General Election period.

Julie Bentley, Action for Children’s chief executive, said: 'Every day our frontline workers see the emotional scars of domestic abuse on children. From nightmares, flashbacks and bed-wetting to depression, or even wanting to end their lives, the effects can last a lifetime. Too many are facing these horrors unnoticed or without the right help. and we have to recognise these children for what they are – victims, not just witnesses.

'These vulnerable children desperately need help from our politicians. We’re urging all parties to commit to prioritising a Bill on domestic abuse in the next Parliament and fund the specialist services children desperately need. And the next prime minister must bring in a National Childhood Strategy to make sure children across the country have a safe and happy childhood.'

In response, Cllr Katrina Wood, vice chairman of the Local Government Association’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said: 'Surging demand on children’s services means that councils are increasingly being forced to prioritise spending for those at immediate risk of harm, rather than on vital earlier support services and prevention schemes which help stop domestic abuse occurring in the first place.'

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