Up to 110 children in the North West are at risk of domestic violence every day, shock new figures show.
That’s the equivalent of over 4,070 youngsters in danger during the General Election period alone.
The new Action for Children analysis, based on official figures from the Department for Education, comes as the fate of landmark legislation once again hangs in the balance because of the chaos surrounding Brexit.
The Domestic Abuse Bill has fallen twice as it passed through parliament to become law – firstly due to the government’s ill-fated Prorogation attempt and now because of the General Election.
With evidence showing many cases go unreported, the numbers revealed today are likely to be just the tip of the iceberg.
Nationally, Action for Children’s report reveals many children facing domestic abuse are living at the mercy of a “postcode lottery” without the support they need from specialist services. The charity worked on an investigation with the University of Stirling into domestic abuse services across England and Wales, including in-depth interviews with representatives from 30 councils. This showed:
Over 10 per cent of councils interviewed had no specialist support services for children affected by domestic abuse;
Access to children’s domestic abuse services was restricted by their postcode in over a third of local authorities;
Two thirds of local authorities interviewed say their services for children are at risk in the long-term due to limited funding.
Action for Children chief executive Julie Bentley, said: “Leave or Remain, our politicians must not allow children living in the terrifying shadow of domestic abuse to become part of the collateral damage of Brexit.
“Every day our frontline workers see the emotional scars of domestic abuse on children in the North West and across the country. From nightmares, flashbacks and bed-wetting to depression, or even wanting to end their lives, the effects can last a lifetime. Too many are facing these horrors unnoticed or without the right help. and we have to recognise these children for what they are – victims, not just witnesses.”