Women’s Aid, WCRS and BBFC team up to shine a light on the hidden victims of domestic abuse: children


Friday 7th September 2018 


Today, Women’s Aid and WCRS – in collaboration with the British Board of Film Classification – have launched a new cinema advert which shines a light on the hidden victims of domestic abuse: children.

An estimated 160,000 children in England are currently living in households where domestic abuse is taking place, according to new data released by Women’s Aid today. Yet since 2010 there has been a 16% reduction in the provision of dedicated children and young people’s domestic abuse services (Survival and Beyond, Women’s Aid 2018).

Children do not only witness domestic abuse, they experience it. Domestic abuse has a devastating and long-lasting impact on children’s wellbeing and safety. It can cause mental health problems, behavioural issues and negatively impact their education, health and social development.

Domestic abuse also poses serious risks to children’s safety. Our Nineteen Child Homicides report revealed that 19 children had been intentionally killed by a parent who was an alleged or known perpetrator of domestic abuse in circumstances relating to child contact over a ten year period, for 12 of these children contact was arranged by the family court. It is a matter of life or death that children can access support and protection to escape domestic abuse.

Due to the funding crisis facing domestic abuse services, these life-saving services have been forced to strip back their support provision in order to keep their doors open. Over half of the residents in refuge are children, yet one third of refuges are unable to provide a children’s support worker. While demand for refuges continues to far exceeds supply with 94 women and 90 children being turned away from a refuge on just one day last year (Survival and Beyond, Women’s Aid 2018).

With your support, Women’s Aid can continue our SOS: Save Our Services campaign to secure a long-term, sustainable funding future for all domestic abuse services to ensure that every woman and child can get the help they need to rebuild their life free from fear and abuse. Support Women’s Aid today here.


Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, said:

“With this campaign we wanted to shine a light on the hidden victims of domestic abuse: children. Children not only witness domestic abuse, they experience it. Thousands of children are living in homes filled with fear, frightened of what will happen next. By teaming up with BBFC and WCRS, we hope to make people think about the impact of domestic abuse on children. Every child deserves support to live free from fear and abuse. With your help, we can support the thousands of women and their children who are experiencing domestic abuse today.”


Daisy Kneer, child survivor and campaigner, said:

“Giving a voice to young survivors and witnesses of domestic abuse is so important. As a child, I witnessed my dad turn from a loving father to a monster at the drop of a hat. My mum was able to use her experience to help women and children who have experienced abuse in her role as the CEO of Reigate and Banstead Women’s Aid. She has inspired me to tell my story to help others try to understand the wider effect of domestic abuse.”


Chris Ringsell, Creative Director at WCRS added:

“It was important for us to expand on Women’s Aid’s full mission, highlighting the effect domestic abuse has on children is vital for awareness and hopefully bringing about change. We are grateful for the insights and knowledge kindly offered up by survivors and the charity, it has made the film all the more powerful and poignant.”


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]



Notes to editors:

  1. Women’s Aid estimate that over 160,000 children are living with domestic abuse. This is based on responses received to our Annual Survey 2017 which told us the number of women supported in community based services (e.g. floating support, outreach or IDVA services) during the year 2016/17 by respondents.  We used this figure to estimate the number of women who would have been supported by all community based services listed on our Routes to Support database during the year at 154,306. Our ‘Week to Count’ survey showed that on average women using these services during one week in July 2017 had 1.04 children with them. We therefore estimate that during the year women supported by these services had 160,478 children with them.
  2. Women’s Aid is the national charity working to end domestic abuse against women and children. Over the past 44 years, Women’s Aid has been at the forefront of shaping and coordinating responses to domestic violence and abuse through practice, research and policy. We empower survivors by keeping their voices at the heart of our work, working with and for women and children by listening to them and responding to their needs. We are a federation of over 180 organisations who provide just under 300 local lifesaving services to women and children across the country. We provide expert training, qualifications and consultancy to a range of agencies and professionals working with survivors or commissioning domestic abuse services, and award a National Quality Mark for services which meet our quality standards. We hold the largest national data set on domestic abuse, and use research and evidence to inform all of our work. Our campaigns achieve change in policy, practice and awareness, encouraging healthy relationships and helping to build a future where domestic abuse is no longer tolerated. The 24 Hour National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247 (run in partnership with Refuge) and ­our range of online services, which include the Survivors’ Forum, help hundreds of thousands of women and children every year.
  3. WCRS is Engine’s creative agency, combining over 35 years of brand building expertise with the ability to execute ideas in any channel. The agency’s focus is to create work people care about. In whatever form that takes. Developing ideas everywhere from TV to Twitter, online to mobile, games to music downloads. To find out more about WCRS, visit wcrs.com. WCRS is part of Engine, the UK’s largest and fastest growing independent communications company, with office locations including London, New York, San Francisco and Shanghai. www.theenginegroup.com

© 2020 Women's Aid Federation of England – Women’s Aid is a company limited by guarantee registered in England No: 3171880.

Women’s Aid is a registered charity in England No. 1054154

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