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Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence and the Effects on Children

The Government, in the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004, defines domestic violence as ‘any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are, or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexual orientation’. Family members includes mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister, and grandparents, whether directly related, in-laws or step-family National charity ’Women’s Aid’ define domestic violence as physical, sexual, psychological or financial violence that takes place within an intimate or family-type relationship and that forms a pattern of coercive and controlling behaviour. This can include forced marriage and so called honour-crimes. Domestic violence may include a range of abusive behaviours, not all of which are in themselves inherently violent.

Domestic violence statistics

One in four women will be a victim of domestic violence in their lifetime

About two in five of all victims of domestic violence are men

One incident of domestic violence is reported to the police every minute.

On average, 35 assaults happen before the police are called

12% of under 11s, 18% of 11-17s and 24% of 18-24s have been exposed to domestic abuse between adults

Sources: Women’s Aid, NSPCC and Parit


Home Office Statistical Bulletin:

The Home Office Statistical Bulletin of 2009/10 estimates that among adults (aged between 16 and 59) 15.8% of men and 29.4% of women have been victims of domestic violence since the age of 16. It estimates that this represents around 2.6 million men and around 4.8 million women. Looking at the numbers of victims in the last year, 4.2% of men and 7.5% of women are estimated to have experienced domestic violence equating to around 677,000 men and 1,207,000 women. So on both of these measures about one third of victims are men

Domestic violence can take many forms but all have one purpose to gain and maintain control over the victim. The abuser can use different ways to exert power and control; it could be physical, sexual, verbal, emotional, economic Because of the awareness of domestic violence that some children have to face, it will impact on how the child develops emotionally, socially, behavioural as well as cognitively.  Emotional and behavioural problems which may arise from being subjected to Domestic Violence include: anxiety, low self esteem,  externalising behaviour (aggressive and anti-social) internalising behaviour (anxiety and depression) change in socialization with family and friends, problems within education can develop such as attitude, poor concentration, lack of problem solving skills. Practitioners working in education, health, social care and the police often come into contact with women, men and children who are experiencing domestic violence and it is of paramount importance that appropriate training and awareness for frontline practitioners  is vital to identifying children living with domestic violence understand the nature of domestic violence and recognise the signs. The link between domestic violence and other forms of maltreatment (sexual, physical, and emotional) which may be perpetrated against children should also be covered in the training, also  support services available locally and nationally and the procedure for making referrals and multi-agency roles and responsibilities.

Working Together to Safeguard children is our responsibility as professional practitioners within the childcare sector.

If you wish to discuss any training element under  the above topic then please call Jan Harrison on 0800 774 7034 or alternatively email her at jan@childprotectiontraining.uk.com


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