Jim Cunningham – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Home Office

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Jim Cunningham on 2016-02-09.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what representations she has received from charities on the risk posed to children by domestic abuse; and if she will make a statement.

Karen Bradley

Data showing the total number of women who have suffered domestic abuse in the last five years is set out in the Crime Statistics published on 11 February 2016: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/crime-stats/crime-statistics/focus-on-violent-crime-and-sexual-offences–2014-to-2015/index.html.

Since the 2004/05 Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW), the number of women aged 16 to 59 experiencing any domestic abuse in the last year has reduced from 1.71 million to 1.35 million (360,000 fewer victims and a fall of 21%) and the estimate of the number of women experiencing any domestic abuse in the last year is the lowest since the survey began.

Latest data published by the Office for National Statistics from the 2014/15 CSEW additionally show that in 46% of cases of partner abuse, a child was present in the household, of which 20% of children saw or heard the abuse.

Data on children referred to and assessed by local authority children’s social services in England in 2014/15 show that there were 197,700 assessments where domestic violence was identified as a relevant factor. This data is only available for 2014/15.

The Government works closely with charities, academics and statutory agencies to assess and address the impact of domestic abuse on children and wholly recognises the life changing impact domestic abuse can have on the lives of children. That is why we have expanded the Troubled Families Programme for a further five years (2015-2020) to work with an additional 400,000 families, including those affected by domestic abuse.

To further address the impact of domestic abuse on victims and their children, we have introduced a new domestic abuse offence to tackle coercive and controlling behaviour, and in England and Wales we have rolled out Domestic Violence Protection Orders and the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme. Improvements have been made to the police response to domestic abuse, and we are supporting multi-agency working which takes a whole family approach.

We will shortly publish a refreshed cross-Government Violence Against Women and Girls strategy setting out how we will do more still to support victims and their children. The Government has already announced £40 million of funding for domestic abuse services between 2016 and 2020, as well as a £2 million grant to Women’s Aid and Safelives to support early intervention programmes.