Credit: Eva Peris / Flickr

Christian charity warns of child victims of domestic violence becoming 'Brexit collateral damage'

Thu 21 Nov 2019
By Heather Preston

A Christian charity has called on the future government to prevent children facing domestic violence from becoming "collateral damage of Brexit".

An analysis by Action for Children revealed that up to 690 kids are at risk of abuse every day in the lead up to the general election.

Action for Children blames the figures on the current turmoil over Brexit which has prevented a law being approved that would have required councils in England and Wales to shelter families fleeing violence.

The Domestic Abuse Bill did not pass through Parliament because of the aborted prorogation followed by the call for a general election.

  

Action for Children's 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."

Senior Policy Advisory Kate Johal told Premier the reports' figures could be just the "tip of the iceberg."

"Not all families experiencing these issues are even known to children social care. We see in our services every day the impact that domestic abuse can have on children and we also know the positive effects that specialist support services can have on children's recovery from those experiences," she said.

Research carried out with the University of Stirling, including interviews with staff from 30 local councils found two thirds of local authorities said children affected by domestic abuse faced barriers to specialist support and over 10 per cent of councils had no specialist support services available.

The research exposes a "postcode lottery", according to Johal, that prevents children accessing vital support.

The charity is calling on the future government to take action to ensure the needs of vulnerable children are met.

 

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