The NSPCC is urging the Government to recognise the 36,213 North West children living with domestic abuse as victims under law.
Westminster will miss an opportunity to protect youngsters – 1,894 of whom are in Wigan – from the effects of violence if it ignores these calls, the charity claims.
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The Government’s proposed new definition of domestic abuse ignores the effect growing up in abusive households has on children, despite its being a factor in more than half of child protection assessments in England last year. The charity is urging the Government to publish its Domestic Violence and
Abuse White Paper – a consultation on which ended last May – without delay.
Legal recognition as victims of domestic abuse would give children greater explicit protection through domestic abuse protection orders, would help professionals to take action to protect children at risk, and would help authorities ensure there are specific services to help young people overcome the trauma of exposure to domestic abuse.
NSPCC head of policy Almudena Lara said: “It is quite astonishing that the Government is dragging its feet when deciding whether to recognise young people as victims, when almost a quarter of a million children that we know of are living with domestic abuse in England alone.
“As well as the day-to-day distress living with domestic abuse creates, it can cause long-term problems into adulthood that can only be addressed through services that understand the trauma children living with domestic abuse experience.”