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Domestic abuse figures are ‘shocking’ – Barnardo’s responds to Children’s Commissioner report

Release Date: 04 Jul 2018

Barnardo’s has described figures of domestic abuse in a report by the Children’s Commissioner as ‘shocking’.

More than two million children in England are growing up in families where there are serious risks, a study by the Children's Commissioner Anne Longfield has found.

Her report estimates that 2.1 million of England's 11.8 million children are living in families with risks so serious that they need some level of help.

Of the 2.1 million children, there are 890,000 with parents suffering serious mental health problems, 825,000 living in homes with domestic violence, and 100,000 children who are living in a family with a "toxic trio", mental health problems, domestic violence and alcohol and/or substance abuse.

Barnardo’s Chief Executive, Javed Khan said:

These shocking figures bring home the impact of domestic abuse on children.

We know from our specialist services that they are victims and not just witnesses, even if abuse and violence isn’t aimed directly at them.

Growing up in families where there is domestic abuse or violence can have a serious emotional impact, causing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), which can stay with children for life.

Research in our services shows many children who have been sexually exploited, or who show harmful sexual behaviour live in households where there is abuse or violence. They are also more likely to be in abusive relationships themselves later in life.

The government needs to put children at the centre of its strategy in its Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill and ensure they receive specialist support early to overcome trauma and go on to lead happy, healthy lives.”

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