Number of children living in violent homes “soars” during lockdown, study reveals

The number of children living in violent homes has risen by over 50 per cent since the first lockdown began, a major report has revealed.

The research, published by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), is among the first to highlight how the pandemic had impacted on young people living with violent parents or carers.

According to the report, calls to the NSPCC helpline about child welfare concerns “soared” since the lockdown began in April last year. The charity received, on average, 30 contacts a day – representing a 53 per cent increase compared to the pre-lockdown average. A large number of these reports were made by adults working from home.

In total, the research reveals that 8,371 contacts were recorded Between April and December 2020, with November accounting for 1,053 reports alone.

Commenting on the report, the charity says young people who experience domestic abuse are more likely to develop depression, suicidal thoughts, learning difficulties, eating disorders or drug or alcohol dependency.

“The risk of domestic abuse has been heightened in the last nine months with families living under increasing pressure and behind closed doors,” said Anna Edmundson, NSPCC head of policy.

“To stop the pandemic having a lasting impact on children who suffer in this way it is vital they have access to support in the community to recover and move forward with their lives as not all victims can go to a refuge for support.

“The government has taken the crucial step of recognising the profound impact domestic abuse has on children’s wellbeing but they now need to go further and ensure there are services for children in the community, wherever they live.”

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