Revealed: More than 1,400 Redbridge children live with domestic abuse
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As many as 1,494 children were living with domestic abuse in Redbridge last year.
Figures from the Department for Education (DfE) reveal that Redbridge had the 10th highest number child protection assessment where domestic violence was a factor in the capital in the year 2018.
Children’s charity NSPCC has released the figures as part of a campaign calling on the government to legally recognise these children as victims of domestic abuse.
Almudena Lara, the charity’s head of policy, 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 that living with domestic abuse creates, it can cause long-term problems into adulthood that can only be addressed through targeted services that understand the complex trauma children living with domestic abuse experience.”
“For this to be done effectively we need government to open their eyes to the harm domestic abuse has on children and give them victim status in the upcoming White Paper to ensure they receive the services they need.”
Up to 34,104 children living with domestic violence in London are not currently treated as victims.
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Hackney has the highest number with 1,888, with Newham a close second at 1,876.
The government is currently considering an as-yet-unpublished white paper on “Domestic Violence and Abuse”, which the charity hopes will include children within the legal definition of victims.
Legal recognition as victims of domestic abuse would give children greater explicit protection through domestic abuse protection orders, the charity argues.
It 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.
A Redbridge Council spokeswoman said: “Too many children and young people are affected by domestic abuse, that’s why we are committed to both reducing domestic abuse and providing effective support to victims, working closely with our partners.
“The short and long term impact of domestic abuse on children and young people can be significant and we support any efforts that enable better identification and help to victims.”