Scourge of domestic violence puts children at risk


A story in the UK media caught our eye this week:

A rising number of children are being taken into care to protect them from domestic violence by teenage and other young adult parents, research by a London charity shows today.

The Family Rights Group, which helps families involved with the care system, said the trend was partly the result of a greater awareness among social workers about the harm that witnessing abuse causes children.

But the charity added that the closure of refuges for battered women, cuts to projects to help violent men alter their conduct, and a decline in “early intervention” schemes were other factors behind the increase.

The charity is calling for more investment in education and specialist services for young parents, and warned that unless action is taken, more children were likely to end up in the care system. Cathy Ashley, the charity’s chief executive, said the rise in child protection cases involving domestic abuse was found by analysing calls to the FRG helpline by more than 500 parents aged under 30 in the past year. 

Read the rest here

In Ireland, domestic violence is rife, and children are living through the horrors of conflict in the home. A report by RTE recently found that domestic violence services across Ireland  were unable to meet up to 14 requests every day from women looking for safe accommodation in 2014.

National domestic violence organisation SAFE Ireland has said the daily average amounts to nearly 5,000 unmet requests from women over the full year.

It is the highest recording of unmet requests for accommodation since statistics were first compiled by the organisation in 2008.

The annual statistics show that 9,448 women and 3,068 children received direct support and/or accommodation from a domestic violence service in Ireland in 2014.

In every one of these stats is a young person who has been traumatised and who may go on to carry on that same cycle of violence when they have their own children. Much more needs to be done to support these people and stamp out domestic violence where possible.

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