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Over 4,000 children living with domestic abuse in Norfolk


Published by Grace Mcgachy at 12:23pm 11th January 2019.

Over 4,500 children in Norfolk living with domestic abuse.

The NSPCC is calling on the government to recognise them as victims under law.

The charity says the Government's proposed new definition of domestic abuse ignores the effect growing up in abusive households has on children.



The children's charity is urging the Government to publish its Domestic Violence and Abuse White Paper without delay and recognise children as victims in its domestic abuse laws.

A consultation closed last May but the government have yet to publish the outcome.

The NSPCC received 7,377 contacts to its Helpline from members of the public concerned about children in domestic abuse situations in 2017/18.



Department for Education figures show domestic violence was a factor in 246,720 child protection assessments across England in 2017/18, leaving potentially a quarter of a million child victims unrecognised by the justice system.

In Norfolk, it was a factor in 4,596 assessments.

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.



The call is backed by brothers Luke and Ryan Hart whose father murdered their mother and sister in 2016 in Spalding after two decades of domestic abuse.

Ryan said:

"We didn't recognise it as abuse because there was never any violence but it was coercive control, financial, emotional, psychological abuse.

What is often missed is the effects of living in that environment has on kids, growing up not only witnessing abuse but experiencing it day in and day out, how that affects us growing up and into adult life.

Children living with domestic abuse are not just witnesses to the abuse, they are victims themselves.

Luke and I know first-hand the psychological effects, emotional effects can have on you by seeing someone you love being a victim of abuse."

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