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Child protection charity NSPCC has reported a 25% rise in calls relating to children witnessing domestic abuse. The charity has said that its helpline referred 6,642 concerns about domestic abuse last year – up from 5,322 in 2017/18.
Figures show that 57% of calls to the NSPCC helpline about children witnessing serious domestic abuse are then referred on to local authorities by the charity.
The NSPCC is now calling for the government to include more protections for children in the Domestic Abuse Bill recently brought back to Parliament. The charity is urging the government to include a statutory duty on local authorities to provide community-based specialist services.
Emily Hilton, a spokesperson for the NSPCC said, “The bill in its current form fails to protect children from the devastating impact of living with domestic abuse, leaving thousands at continued risk because the help they deserve is not in place,”
The Home Office said it “fully recognises” the “devastating impact domestic abuse has on children and young people”.
“Children will benefit from a number of measures included in the Domestic Abuse Bill and the designated Domestic Abuse Commissioner has been appointed to encourage good practice in, amongst other things, the provision of protection and support for children affected by domestic abuse,” it added.
Sources: bbc.co.uk, 06 March 2020, ‘Calls about children witnessing domestic abuse ‘rise 25%’, telegraph.co.uk, 06 March 2020, ‘NSPCC reports 25% rise in referrals of children living with domestic abuse’.