Giles Watling, MP for Clacton, has joined experts and frontline practitioners from leading UK children’s charity, Action for Children, in Parliament to mark the launch of a report setting out the impact of domestic abuse on young people.

Recent analysis by Action for Children found that up to 692 children in England are assessed every day by children’s social care services as being at risk of domestic violence, as well as significant variation in the availability of specialist services across the country.

Overall, children struggled to access support in at least two-thirds of the councils that took part in the study. Over 10 per cent had no support services available at all for children affected by domestic abuse meaning children are missing out on the vital help they need to recover.

Attending the event, Giles heard from frontline staff specialising in domestic abuse services and pledged to support Action for Children’s efforts to ensure the Domestic Abuse Bill, which will return to Parliament soon, addresses the impact of domestic abuse on children and young people.

Julie Bentley, Chief Executive of Action for Children, said:

“Every day, our frontline workers see the emotional scars of domestic abuse on children. From nightmares, flashbacks and bed-wetting, through to depression and wanting to end their lives. And we know that these effects can last a lifetime.

“Too many children are facing the horrors of domestic abuse without the right help and living their childhood in fear. The time has come to recognise that they are victims of domestic abuse in their own right and need access to specialist services to recover from the trauma of their experiences.

“Support from MPs like Giles means we can have the best chance of making sure that the Domestic Abuse Bill delivers for all children and gives them the chance of a safe and happy childhood.”

Giles said:

“The number of children living in families who report domestic abuse is a huge concern, not least because we now know the availability of specialist support varies enormously around the country.

“No child or young person affected by domestic abuse should be left without the support they need to recover.

“The upcoming Domestic Abuse Bill is the chance to make this expectation a reality, and I fully support the work of Action for Children to make sure children have the services they need to recover wherever they live in the country.”

You can read the report here.