Thousands of under-fives affected by domestic abuse

family law

The number of small children who are affected by domestic abuse has risen sharply according to one charity.

Children’s group Buttle UK has claimed that they received 9,909 referrals about youngsters affected by abuse last year, which represents an increase of more than 33 per cent from 2015. Shockingly, as many as 3,384 of these children were four years old or younger. These children had witnessed physical, mental or sexual abuse in their homes and often this was on an ongoing basis.

The charity estimates that as many as 20 per cent of children in the UK have been exposed to domestic abuse at some point, but admitted “there has been very little published data in this area”. The government’s official policy on this issue “has no specific provision for children affected by domestic abuse” the group claimed.

Buttle UK CEO Gerri McAndrew said that domestic abuse was “an extensive and largely under-reported problem across the UK” and that victim support providers “often assume that a child’s needs can be met by addressing the needs of the abused parent”.

Although the increase in referrals to the charity could be a sign of better awareness of this issue, “the specific issues that children face in these situations are not being identified and met” McAndrew insisted.

With the General Election just weeks away, she demanded that all parties “identify and prioritise the needs of these children in their manifestos”, adding that she hoped whoever emerged victorious would “drive forward systemic change in how support services account for the needs of children”.

In October, the NSPCC claimed the number of calls they received from adults concerned about children either suffering from or witnessing domestic abuse has increased by 75 per cent in the last five years. CEO Peter Wanless said it was extremely important that such children did not “remain in the shadows”.

Photo by Justin Otto via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence.

Stowe Family Law Web Team

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1 comment

Stitchedup - May 18, 2017 at 10:52am

Britain really is an appalling nation isn’t it?? We allow our children to be dragged up by violent abusive fathers who give the mothers a dogs life, trapped in inhumane, unloving relationships where the father spends all the family income on drugs, fags, alcohol and the horses. Domestic abuse is “an extensive and largely under-reported problem across the UK”, I mean it’s rarely ever mentioned in the media, the BBC appear to turn a blind eye to it, and the women’s groups don’t even appear to recognise it; if they did we would have a similar number of women’s refuges as men’s refuges…. It’s appalling!!!

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