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Younger victims of domestic violence could be “collateral damage of Brexit”

Children in families riven by domestic violence could be “collateral damage” of Britain’s exit from the EU a charity has claimed.

Action for Children said whichever government takes the reins following the general election must guarantee support for children affected by the issue. The call came following the publication of new research conducted by the charity with the University of Stirling. This included interviews with staff from no less than 30 local councils around the country.

The findings suggest that one in ten local councils provide no support all to children who have experienced domestic violence, while more than 60 per cent say their existing services are at risk due to funding cuts.

The Domestic Abuse Bill would have created an obligation on local authorities to shelter vulnerable families fleeing violent partners, but this stalled when the general election was called for December.

Action for Children chief executive Julie Bentley said:

“Leave or Remain, our politicians must not allow children living in the terrifying shadow of domestic abuse to become part of the collateral damage of Brexit. Every day our frontline workers see the emotional scars of domestic abuse on children. From nightmares, flashbacks and bed-wetting to depression, or even wanting to end their lives, the effects can last a lifetime.”

She continued:

“Too many are facing these horrors unnoticed or without the right help, and we have to recognise these children for what they are – victims, not just witnesses. These vulnerable children desperately need help from our politicians. We’re urging all parties to commit to prioritising a Bill on domestic abuse in the next parliament and fund the specialist services children desperately need.”

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