Family Lives responds to ‘Domestic violence puts 10,000 at high risk of death or serious injury’

That domestic violence places 10,000 women and children at high risk of death or serious injury is a major concern.  The number is indeed likely to be higher due to under-reporting.  There are concerns that in some instances, some children may replicate the actions of a domestically abusive parent.  Over a two year period, of 83,469 contacts made to the charity, 27% of callers were seeking advice regarding their children’s aggressive behaviour.  Of total calls relating to child behaviour, 88% of calls concerned a child’s aggressive behaviour within the home environment.  While aggressive outbursts can be a normal part of a child’s development, many of the families we are in contact with are dealing with more serious and entrenched problems.  Families who find themselves unable to manage their child’s physical or verbally aggressive behaviour need a range of advice and support. The stigma attached to abuse can prevent families from seeking help early, thereby preventing the problem from spiraling out of control. 

We urge all parents and families facing serious behavioural challenges s to seek support, for the sake of their children and their own wellbeing. We are concerned that there is a significant unmet need in terms of statutory support in this area.  Children with, or at risk of developing, more serious problems such as conduct disorders, need the right intervention at the earliest available opportunity, otherwise the cost to the child and the family is a grave and tragic one, but it is one that is avoidable if the right support is made available.


Jeremy Todd, Family Lives Chief Executive