New figures reveal sharp rise in number of Children in Wales seeing domestic violence and abuse at home
There has been a sharp rise in the number of Welsh adults worried about children suffering or witnessing physical violence and emotional abuse in their own home.
Figures revealed by the NSPCC show a 58% increase in the number of people concerned about domestic abuse in Wales, with an average three calls a week to the charity’s helpline last year.
There were 170 contacts from Wales in 2015/16, up from 104 in 2011/12. In total, over the last five years, 726 calls were taken on this issue from adults in Wales.
Last year 152 Welsh cases, involving 292 children, were deemed so serious by counsellors that they were referred to external agencies such as the police or social services.
Across the UK, the helpline received 3,883 contacts in 2015/16 – compared to 2,223 in 2011/12 – from people worried about children living in a dangerous or risky home.
The startling figures come as the NSPCC launches a national TV advertising campaign aimed at raising awareness of what a child can achieve when freed from domestic abuse and allowed to dream of big things.
[miptheme_quote author=”Caller to NSPCC 24 hour helpline” style=”boxquote text-center”]I‘m worried about a young Mum I know. I have seen her with bruises on her arms and legs and I am worried that her new boyfriend is being violent towards her. She has a baby at home who could be at risk if there is violence in the home. I’m concerned that she isn’t looking after herself and may need some support to look after the baby too. Can you please help?[/miptheme_quote]
The story of Alfie the Astronaut will return to our screens on Saturday night on ITV Wales during the X-Factor, with the public being reminded that abuse stifles a child’s ability to dream.
Alfie tells the story of how a young boy and his mother are subjected to physical violence by his mother’s new partner, an all too familiar story for the NSPCC helpline staff.
Signs that a child might be living in a home where domestic abuse is taking place include: Becoming aggressive. displaying anti-social behavior, suffering from depression or anxiety and not doing as well at school.
[miptheme_quote author=”Caller to NSPCC 24 hour helpline” style=”boxquote text-center”]There seems to be a lot of trouble in the family home. Mum and Dad fight a lot and I think Mum is being beaten by Dad. Mum seems to take it out on the kids when Dad isn’t around. She is constantly slapping them, pushing them around and verbally abusing them.[/miptheme_quote]
News of the five-year increase comes in the same month as the Crown Prosecution Service revealed that in 2015/16 more than 6,600 people were prosecuted and more than 5,000 convicted – for cases of domestic abuse in Wales.
There were over 100,000 prosecutions across the UK and 75,000 convictions; the highest figure on record.
Recent research by Public Health Wales shows that adults who suffered adverse childhood experiences, such as being brought up in a household where there was domestic violence, are more likely to adopt health-harming behaviours and suffer low mental well-being in adult life.
Head of NSPCC Cymru / Wales, Des Mannion, said:
“Home should be a haven for children where they feel safe and loved and encouraged to dream big. Tragically, for many young people in Wales, it is instead a place where they are weighed down by the fear of violence and emotional abuse from those that they care for most.
“We know from Welsh research that the implications of this can have a devastating life-long impact, often resulting in an intergenerational cycle of violence.
“It is vital that we don’t allow children suffering from living in a home plagued by domestic abuse to remain in the shadows. Anyone who is either a victim of abuse, suspects it is taking place or is worried about a child should report their concerns to the police or contact the NSPCC.
“There are people ready to listen and do everything they can to ensure that the children involved get to grow up in a happy environment.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row] Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com