Record number of calls to NSPCC about children impacted by domestic abuse during lockdown

Contacts to the NSPCC’s helpline about the impact of domestic abuse on children have surged by almost a third since the start of the lockdown, to an average of one an hour.

Thursday, 11th June 2020, 3:49 pm

Helpline staff responded to 1,500 contacts about domestic abuse from across the UK between March 23 and May 17, resulting in 314 referrals being made to local agencies in the midlands.

The charity argues that the crisis has further highlighted the need for the Government to amend the law to recognise how the daily nightmare of violence and coercive control can impact on children.

And it adds that the new Domestic Abuse Bill – which is at committee stage in Parliament – in its current form fails to do that.

Calls to the NSPCC have soared during lockdown. Photo: Tom Hull

In some cases, fears about the virus were exploited to withhold access to children or cut off contact to family and friends.

Even though children were not always the ones to suffer physical harm, some have told the charity Childline that they felt trapped and, in some cases, it has led to depression, suicidal thoughts, self-harm, and eating disorders.

Emily Hilton, NSPCC senior policy and public affairs officer, said: “This crisis has shone a spotlight on children who are living with the daily nightmare of domestic abuse.“The Government should grasp the landmark opportunity offered by the Domestic Abuse Bill and ensure children get the protection and support they need.”

Adults concerned about a child can contact the NSPCC helpline seven days a week on 0808 8005000, or email [email protected]