3,600 children living with domestic violence in Derbyshire
More than 3,600 children are living with domestic violence in Derbyshire, the NSPCC has said.
And the charity is now calling on the government to recognise the 21,957 children living with domestic abuse in the East Midlands as victims under law.
The government's proposed new definition of domestic abuse ignores the effect growing up in abusive households has on children, despite it being a factor in more than half of child protection assessments across England last year, the NSPCC said.
It is urging the government to publish its Domestic Violence and Abuse White Paper without delay and recognise children as victims in its domestic abuse laws.
Figures from the NSPCC show there are 3,682 children living with domestic violence in Derbyshire.
And Department for Education figures show domestic violence was a factor in 21,957 child protection assessments in the East Midlands in 2017/18.
Legal recognition as victims of domestic abuse would give children greater explicit protection through domestic abuse protection orders, would help professionals to take action to protect children at risk,and would help authorities ensure there are specific services to help young people overcome the trauma of exposure to domestic abuse, the charity said.
Almudena Lara, Head of Policy at the NSPCC, said: "It is quite astonishing that the government is dragging its feet when deciding whether to recognise young people as victims when almost a quarter of a million children that we know of are living with domestic abuse in England alone.
"As well as the day-to-day distress that living with domestic abuse creates, it can cause long-term problems into adulthood that can only be addressed through targeted services that understand the complex trauma children living with domestic abuse experience.
"For this to be done effectively we need government to open their eyes to the harm domestic abuse has on children and give them victim status in the upcoming White Paper to ensure they receive the services they need."