Women’s Aid responds to NSPCC’s call for government to recognise children as victims of domestic abuse in the domestic abuse bill
Thursday 10th January 2018
Ahead of the government’s forthcoming domestic abuse bill launch, Women’s Aid calls for greater recognition of children’s experience of domestic abuse and urges the government to ensure both survivors and their children are supported as part of both the legislative and non-legislative packages that will be announced in the landmark bill.
Today (Thursday 10th January) the NSPCC has called for the government to recognise children as victims when living with domestic abuse to ensure they get support they need. Further information on the NSPCC’s calls see online here.
Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, said:
“Women’s Aid and our 180 member services across England have been at the forefront of delivering specialist support to survivors and their children who are experiencing domestic abuse for over forty years. We know from our experience working with child survivors that they do not just witness domestic abuse, they experience it. Domestic abuse impacts their wellbeing, health, development and also their safety. Yet children are often the hidden victims of domestic abuse.
“Nowhere is this more apparent than in the cuts to vital children’s support services. There has been a 10% fall in the number of domestic abuse services that are able to provide dedicated support to children and young people from 2010-2017, while currently only two thirds of refuges are able to fund a specialist children’s support worker. This is leaving vulnerable children without the support they desperately need and at risk of further abuse.
“We know from our experience working with survivors and their children that the best way to support children who are experiencing domestic abuse is by supporting both the mother and her children. Far too often we hear of mothers being threatened that her children will be removed from her care because of the abuse the family is experiencing at home. This is not the answer. It only puts the survivor and her children at further risk. That’s why we want to see the government’s forthcoming domestic abuse bill deliver mandatory domestic abuse training, co-delivered by specialists like Women’s Aid, for all statutory agency staff to ensure they give the right response to survivors the first time they reach out for help; this must be a response that supports both survivors and their children. We are also calling for the domestic abuse bill to deliver resources as well as legislation to ensure that every survivor and her children can get the specialist support they need to safely escape and rebuild their lives free from fear and abuse.”
If you are worried about your relationship or that of a friend or family member, you can contact the Freephone 24-hour National Domestic Violence Helpline, run in partnership between Women’s Aid and Refuge, on 0808 2000 247 or visit www.womensaid.org.uk.
For more information, please contact the Women’s Aid press office: 020 7566 2511 / [email protected]