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Domestic Abuse and Children

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Domestic abuse ruins the lives of its victims with more than 2 million people subjected to this terrible crime each year. However, NSPCC statistics show that as many as 1 in 5 children in the UK are also witness to or exposed to this horrible crime during childhood.

The Domestic Abuse Charity, SafeLives,  insights dataset reveals that two in five children (41%) in families where there is domestic abuse have been living with that abuse since they were born. For some children, this exposure to abuse does not only start early, but persists into later childhood. Of all the children in their dataset who had been living with abuse for their whole lives, over a third (37%) were more than five years old.

Combined with information on the percentage of all children who have been exposed to domestic abuse in their homes, they estimated that at least one child in every reception school class has been living with abuse for their whole life.

It is heart-breaking to think that all too often children are unwittingly caught up in the effects of domestic abuse and for some, the mental scars of such early exposure will significantly impact on their lives. Those children affected by domestic abuse in their early years are 4 times more likely to go on and experience or perpetrate domestic abuse later in life. Further studies have also concluded that children affected by domestic abuse are at greater risk of falling into substance abuse, juvenile pregnancy and criminal behaviour than those raised in homes without violence.

Under a new pilot scheme Police will tell a child’s school about Domestic Violence incidents at their family home. Councils and schools will be informed before classes start the next day, so that they can help support the child. Previously the school might not be aware of an issue for several weeks until Social Services become involved, if any involvement at all.

The scheme aims to provide support to children who have been exposed to adverse childhood experiences also known as ACEs. These include sexual abuse, domestic violence or drug and alcohol abuse.  

Here at Emery Johnson Astills, our focus is on client care, ensuring that we assist and support every client from initial advice through to Court proceedings, if appropriate. If you require expert legal assistance relating to Domestic Violence, contact the Domestic Violence and Abuse Department (DVAD) or if you require advice following Social Services becoming involved with you and your family please contact a member of our Care Team. You can contact us on 0116 255 4855 or by contacting by email on DVAD@johnsonastills.com  or careteam@johnsonastills.com