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Press release

Over 15,000 children likely to be exposed to domestic abuse this Christmas, and fears it could be far more

Researchers call for more focus on children and victims of domestic violence as 2020 looks set to be a record

Published

23 Dec 2020

Contributor

This Christmas a record number of children could be exposed to domestic abuse warns a leading research charity. The Early Intervention Foundation, says a rise in domestic abuse as a result of lockdowns and Covid restrictions, coupled with Christmas which usually sees higher levels of domestic violence, could lead to thousands of children being victims themselves. 

London, 23/12/20 - This Christmas a record number of children could be exposed to domestic abuse warns a leading research charity. The Early Intervention Foundation, says a rise in domestic abuse as a result of lockdowns and Covid restrictions, coupled with Christmas which usually sees higher levels of domestic violence, could lead to thousands of children being victims themselves. 

Data suggests that in a given month 34,000 children are exposed to domestic abuse, but this could be the tip of the iceberg this December warns EIF. The charity warns witnessing or experiencing domestic abuse as a child can have a lasting impact without proper support. 

Dr Jo Casebourne commented: “This year we’ve seen a rise in domestic abuse during lockdown and if we couple this with the seasonal spike at Christmas time - we fear thousands of children are at risk this festive season. We urgently need to put more investment into what is needed for victims, especially children, to overcome the trauma and rebuild their lives.” 

In a report out next year, the Early Intervention Foundation will highlight how little we know about what works to effectively support the victims of domestic abuse.

Dr Casebourne added: “There is little doubt that 2020 has seen a rise in domestic violence - without support the trauma of witnessing or experiencing abuse can stay with children for many years. With this Government’s stated commitment to tackle domestic abuse, the Children’s Minister Vicky Ford has an opportunity to make sure children are the heart of it. It starts with understanding and assessing what works for children to overcome the trauma of domestic violence.” 

NOTES

Methodology: 

A report by the NSPCC estimated 3.2% of the under 11s and 2.5 per cent of the 11–17s reported exposure to domestic violence in the past year. Applying that to the latest ONS population statistics for the United Kingdom implies that at least 15,000 children will be exposed to domestic violence over the two week Christmas period.

The Early Intervention Foundation (EIF) is an independent charity that champions and supports the use of effective early intervention to improve the lives of children and young people at risk of experiencing negative outcomes. For more information, see: www.eif.org.uk    

MEDIA CONTACTS:  

Andy Ross, Senior Press Officer – 07949 339 975 / andy.ross@eif.org.uk 

About the contributor

Dr Jo Casebourne

Jo is chief executive at EIF.