Sixty per cent of families report serious conflict in the home

Joe Lepper
Monday, March 26, 2012

Six out of 10 UK families with children experience serious or frequent conflict, according to a survey by 4Children.

According to DfE figures, domestic violence is the single most common problem experienced by children in need and is prevalent in around half of all cases. Picture: David McCullough
According to DfE figures, domestic violence is the single most common problem experienced by children in need and is prevalent in around half of all cases. Picture: David McCullough

The charity surveyed more than 1,000 parents with children aged under 18 and found that just seven per cent said there was no conflict in their home, but 60 per cent of respondents had experienced serious or frequent conflict.

The Enemy Within report found that increasing financial pressures are a major factor in family conflict. One in five of those surveyed said worries over debt and finances were at the root of arguments and conflict.

A similar proportion reported arguments with teenage children, while redundancy and long-term unemployment was cited as a factor by seven per cent of parents.

The bulk of conflict reported involved arguments, shouting and insults. Physical violence was mentioned by 12 per cent and one in 10 said possessions were destroyed during a row.

Anne Longfield, the charity’s chief executive, said: "Domestic violence is familiar ground, but family violence is often hidden from view. Conflict need not turn to violence if families get the help they need.

"Violence within the family threatens lives, breaks up families and has severe ongoing psychological and physical effects on hundreds of thousands of parents and children every year."

4Children is calling for councils to improve their support to families in crisis, in particular those with financial problems. The report found that one in ten councils do not have a domestic violence strategy, 16 per cent have a strategy that is either out of date or still in draft form and 18 per cent do not have a domestic violence partnership in place.

The charity wants the definition of violence in the home to be expanded to cover all family violence not just that perpetrated by partners.

The report also calls for local authorities’ new health and wellbeing boards, to ensure that families receive joined up support and that a "whole family approach" is adopted towards family violence from contact with the police to support from family workers.

CYP Now Digital membership

  • Latest digital issues
  • Latest online articles
  • Archive of more than 60,000 articles
  • Unlimited access to our online Topic Hubs
  • Archive of digital editions
  • Themed supplements

From £15 / month

Subscribe

CYP Now Magazine

  • Latest print issues
  • Themed supplements

From £12 / month

Subscribe