The NSPCC has revealed that calls to its helpline about children living with domestic abuse have risen by nearly 50% since lockdown was introduced.
Figures from 1st April to 31st August 2020 show that there were more than 4,500 calls made to Childline by members of the public concerned about children living in homes affected by domestic abuse.
This equates to an average of 903 calls per month, a 49% increase on the previous monthly average of 607 calls, recorded from 6th January to 22nd March – the period immediately prior to national lockdown measures being introduced.
In August alone, the national children’s charity received 818 contacts about the issue.
The increase reflected by these figures has also been felt by frontline staff who work with mothers and children facing domestic abuse at home.
The NSPCC and other charities successfully campaigned for the government to amend the Domestic Abuse Bill in order to acknowledge the devastating impact that domestic abuse can have on children.
The charity works to support women and children who experience domestic abuse through their Domestic Abuse Recovering Together (DART) service. The service has helped more than 2,000 women and children across the UK over the last decade.
Access to such a service can help to increase the self-esteem of women who have experienced domestic abuse, increasing their confidence in parenting and their affection towards their children. It can also help to reduce the emotional and behavioural difficulties experienced by children as a result of living with domestic abuse, and can help practitioners, mothers and children to work together.
But the NSPCC warns that there is still no legal requirement to provide specialist support services.
They say that such services are vital in helping children to recover from their experiences of domestic abuse and be able to more forward with their lives.
In light of this, they are now calling for:
- The establishment of local authority recovery services for children living with domestic abuse;
- Such services to be made a legal requirement, and to receive funding;
- Agencies to sign up to deliver their community-based recovery service.
The NSPCC continue to work through the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that children are protected from harm.
First Response Training (FRT) is a leading national training provider delivering courses in subjects such as health and safety, first aid, fire safety, manual handling, food hygiene, mental health, health and social care, safeguarding and more.
They work with a large number of early years and childcare providers, as well as schools, colleges, and children’s services.
Their courses include Safeguarding Children, Autism Awareness, and Understanding Domestic Abuse.
A trainer from FRT says:
“The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting national – and then local – lockdowns has had a profound impact on people in all walks of life, throughout the UK. For many people, home is sadly not a safe place and they have therefore been at greater risk over the last few months.
“It’s really important that anyone living with domestic abuse receives help and support, and that any children involved in these situations are protected and helped to move forward from their experiences.”
For more information on the training that FRT can provide, please call them today on freephone 0800 310 2300 or send an e-mail to [email protected].