DfE backs domestic abuse projects

By Neil Puffett, Friday 03 May 2013

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Children and young people affected by domestic abuse are to be given support through new projects backed by the Department for Education.

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Domestic abuse projects will be launched in four pilot areas. Image: David McCullough

The work, which will be undertaken by charity Victim Support, is being funded as part of the National Prospectus Grants Programme, a £120m DfE scheme designed to boost services for early years, safeguarding and the care system.

Victim Support will establish services to educate young people about domestic abuse and help them identify whether they are a victim at four pilot sites in Ealing, West London; Norfolk; Newcastle and Northumberland, and Warwickshire.

The aim is to work with a total of 15,000 children and young people, and provide support for 1,200 identified as being at high risk of harm.

The projects, which are currently being set up, will take referrals in each area from June and are aiming to reach the most marginalised groups including black and ethnic minority children and those with disabilities.

Amanda Naylor, children and young people development manager at Victim Support, said: “While there is a growing concern about this problem, evidence suggests that existing services are too focused on parents rather than children and young people.

“We look forward to giving young people the right help to ensure they can spot the signs of relationship abuse, and cope and recover from these crimes where they occur.”

Experiencing domestic abuse can have negative effects on children, whether they are physically abused themselves, or witness the abuse of another person.

An NSPCC study from 2011 found that 12 per cent of under-11s, 18 per cent of 11- to 17-year-olds and 24 per cent of 18- to 24-year-olds had been exposed to domestic abuse between adults in their homes during childhood.

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