Domestic Abuse: Special Report

Cases of domestic abuse recorded by police and children's services have risen significantly over the past decade. The government has published a draft bill containing new protections to tackle the problem.

Earlier this year, the government published its draft Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill, which introduces the first statutory definition of domestic abuse, new legal protections for victims and a range of measures to support women and children.

The bill is in response to rises over the past decade in the number of domestic abuse crimes being recorded by the police, in referrals to children's social care services and in requests for refuge placements and other support.

Home Office research estimates the economic and social costs to society of domestic abuse to be £66bn in 2016 to 2017.

In addition, there is also growing concern about the negative impact that witnessing domestic abuse can have on the wellbeing of children and young people. Research suggests up to 800,000 children live in homes where domestic abuse occurs, with some being emotionally damaged by the experience.

Against this backdrop, the government has provided dedicated funding and guidance to councils and other agencies to boost support arrangements.

However, children's services leaders say the amount is insufficient to offset cuts to early help provision in recent years.

CYP Now's special report on domestic abuse summarises findings from four key pieces of research, scrutinises latest policy initiatives and showcases four examples of innovative and impactful practice.

Click on the links below for more:

Research evidence:

Practice examples:

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