Funding crisis revealed over Shropshire child victims of domestic abuse
A Shropshire domestic abuse group has said it gets no funding to help child victims.
Wendy Bulman of Shropshire Domestic Abuse Service said the demand for the work to help youngsters is clearly there, but that they get no help with the cost of providing it.
Her comments come after it was revealed 1,700 children across the county are impacted by domestic abuse.
The figures, released by the Department of Education, show domestic violence was a factor in 903 child protection assessments in the Shropshire Council area, while in Telford & Wrekin, it was a factor in 784.
The NSPCC is calling on the Government to recognise those youngsters living with domestic abuse as victims under law, which Ms Bulman says would help affected recover.
"Families are impacted in so many ways as a result of domestic abuse from physical injuries to non-existent self-esteem and confidence," she said.
"This can result in being unable to secure or sustain employment, becoming financially unstable and heading towards homelessness. They may use negative coping strategies such as alcohol or drug misuse resulting in a wider impact not only on themselves but on their children, their extended family and the community as a whole.
"They may show no external impact at all and may seemingly function as those who are not affected by domestic abuse but internally their mental health may be in crisis – hidden from everyone."
Ms Bulman said children who live in homes with domestic abuse could repeat the things they see.
"Children and young people will be negatively impacted as a result of their non-abusive parent or carer suffering," she said. "
"Bed wetting, internalising the abuse and blaming themselves, mimicking the abusive attitudes and behaviours towards people around them, truancy, anger, not feeling worthy of good care, neglect, emotional abuse, fear and many many more impacts all as a result of living in households where domestic abuse exists.
"I agree with the NSPCC’s view that all Children and Young People should be seen as direct victims, and should have access to the right specialist support at the right time and that this support should not be in isolation of the non-abusive parent.
"For a child to thrive they need the trusted adults around them to be able to support them and guide them and for some parents who have been subjected to domestic abuse this is hard to achieve.
"We need to all work together and we need to hold the abuser accountable for the abuse and support the victims to move forward."
Help is available:
- Shropshire Domestic Abuse Service - shropsdas.org.uk
- Adults concerned about a child living with domestic abuse can contact the NSPCC Helpline confidentially for advice and support on 0808 800 5000 or email email@example.com