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Part of: Domestic Abuse

Related to: Domestic Abuse Characteristics, New Way Service Families Profile, Domestic Abuse Offenders, Domestic Abuse Victims, Recording and Understanding Domestic Abuse Socio-economic Inequality, Ill Health and Disability, Mental Health and Illness, Safeguarding Children and Young People, Sex and Gender, Alcohol, Carers, Police Assessments, Youth Offending, Homelessness, Night Time Economy, Self-Harm, Substance Misuse, Suicide and Mortality of Undetermined Intent, Emotional Health and Wellbeing of Children and Young People

For information about the help that is available in Bath and North East Somerset see the Interpersonal Violence & Abuse Strategic Partnership Leaflet on Domestic Violence and Abuse Services.

Link to the NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) guidance on how health and social care services can respond effectively to the problem of domestic abuse. This guidance was published in February 2014

Key Facts

  • In 2015 the police recorded 42 under 18 year olds as being a witness of domestic abuse in B&NES.
  • There were 1,714 children affected by MARAC cases in Bath and North East Somerset over the 6 year period between the financial years 2010/11-2015/16.
  • In 2015/16 there were 366 children affected by MARAC cases in B&NES, a 17% increase compared to 2014/15 when 314 children were affected. 
  • There were 571 notifications of domestic abuse incidents to Children’s Social Care in Bath and North East Somerset in the financial year 2014/15, which represents a decrease of 51% compared to the financial year 2013/14 when there were 1,161.
  • 71% of the 86 female referrals to the Identification and Referral to Improve Safety Programme (IRIS) between July 2015 and June 2016 had children, 28% of the children were under 5 years old and 80% were under 15 years of age.
  • 66% of child protection cases in B&NES in 2014-15 cited domestic violence as a risk factor.
  • Between 1st April 2015 and 31st March 2016, 67% of the 134 Southside IDVA clients that agreed to take part in research and monitoring had children who lived in or regularly visited the household and 5% of the clients were pregnant. On average these clients had two children each – a total of 159 children living in or regularly visiting households experiencing domestic abuse. 

Click here to see a briefing paper on the Impact of Domestic Abuse on Children

An estimated 130,000 children in the UK live in households with high-risk domestic abuse; that is, where there is a significant risk of harm or death. And many thousands more live daily with lower level domestic abuse. A strong relationship has been shown between the maltreatment of children in the home and domestic abuse of a parent. In January 2014, the Early Intervention Foundation published a systematic review of literature and research on domestic abuse and children at risk. In a review of multiple studies of child protection cases, it found that domestic abuse was a factor in a large proportion of cases. 1

Research by SafeLives (formally Caada) 2

National research by SafeLives found that of the 877 domestic abuse cases in households with children in their February 2011 to September 2013 dataset:

  • Two thirds (62%) of the children exposed to domestic abuse were also directly harmed. As a proportion of the whole dataset this means that 58% had been directly emotionally abused, 28% physically abused and 18% neglected.
  • 91% of cases the perpetrator of the domestic abuse was also the perpetrator of the direct harm to the child, predominantly the father (64%) or mother’s male partner (25%).
  • Many of the children were also suffering multiple physical and mental health consequences as a result of exposure to domestic abuse. Amongst other effects, 52% had behavioural problems, 39% had difficulties adjusting at school and 60% felt responsible or to blame for negative events.
  • 25% of children exposed to domestic abuse, equally boys and girls, exhibited abusive behaviours, mostly towards their mother (62%) or sibling (52%) and rarely towards their father or mother’s male partner, despite these individuals perpetrating the abuse in most of these cases. The children were most commonly physically abusive, in 82% of cases.
  • Only 54% the children were known to statutory children’s social care prior to intake to the specialist service.
  • Only 9% of children were receiving support from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) at intake to the children’s service.
  • Following support from these specialist services, the children exhibiting abusive behaviour fell from 25% of cases at intake to 7% at exit.

Children in Bath and North East Somerset

Police - In B&NES during the 5 year period between 2011- 2015 the police recorded 203 under 18 year olds as being a witness of domestic abuse.*3

In 2015 the police recorded 42 under 18 year olds as being a witness of domestic abuse in B&NES,  this was a similar number to in 2011, 2012 and 2013, but a 31.3% increase compared to 2014 when there were 32.*4

*Please note - Caution needs to be applied to these figures as the police have recently gone through a change of system and are still working on data quality.

Figure 1: Number of under 18 year olds in B&NES recorded by the police as being a witness of domestic abuse (2011 - 2015)*5

*Please note - Caution needs to be applied to these figures as the police have recently gone through a change of system and are still working on data quality.

In B&NES during the 5 year period 2011- 2015 57.1% (116) of the under 18 years recorded by the police as being a witness of domestic abuse in B&NES were female, 36.9% (75) were male and 5.9% (12) were unknown.  These proportions  though did vary during these 5 years with 59.5% (25) being female in 2015, 33.3% (14) male and 7.1% unknown, compared to in 2014 when 40.6% (13) were female, 46.9% (15) male, and 12.5% unknown.*6

Figure 2: Gender of under 18 year olds in B&NES recorded by the police as being a witness of domestic abuse (2011 - 2015)*7

*Please note - Caution needs to be applied to these figures as the police have recently gone through a change of system and are still working on data quality.

For information on under 18 year olds recorded as domestic abuse offenders please see the Domestic Abuse Offenders section. 

Children's Social Care in Bath and North East Somerset had 571 notifications of domestic abuse incidents in the financial year 2014/15 (an average of 48 a month), which represents a decrease of 51% compared to the financial year 2013/14 when there were 1,161 (an average of 97 a month). 8

66% of child protection cases in B&NES in 2014-15 cited domestic violence as a risk factor. 9

According to MARAC records, from the 1,264 domestic abuse cases discussed between 2010/11 and 2015/16 there were 1,714 children in the households, this means that on average there were 24 children affected per month and 1.4 children affected per case.10

In 2015/16 there were 366 children affected by the 268 MARAC cases in B&NES, a 17% increase compared to 2014/15 when 314 children were affected (by the 230 cases).  It also means that in 2015/16 there were on average 31 children affected by MARAC cases per month, compared to 26 in 2014/15, and an average of 1.4 per case, the same as in 2014/15. 11

Figure 3: Number of children affected by MARAC cases in B&NES (2010/11 -2015/16) 12

According to the MARAC records fewer than 5 of the domestic abuse victims in the B&NES MARAC cases between 2014/15-2015/16 were 16 and 17 year olds.13

Between 1st April 2015 and 31st March 2016, Southside supported 194 victims of domestic abuse through their Independent Domestic Violence Advisers (IDVA) and Support Workers services. The data of 134 Southside IDVA clients was used for research and monitoring purposes. The data of 55 clients of the Support Workers service were also used for research and monitoring purposes.14

7% of the 134 Southside IDVA clients had children who lived in or regularly visited the household. On average these clients had two children each – a total of 159 children living in or regularly visiting households experiencing domestic abuse. 5% of the clients were pregnant. At intake, there was current social services involvement in 31% of the 90 families with children. 15

75% of the 55 clients of the Support Workers service had children who lived in or regularly visited the household. On average these clients had two children each – a total of 83 children living in or regularly visiting households experiencing domestic abuse. 2% of the clients were pregnant. At intake, there was current social services involvement in 10% of the families with children. 16

The vast majority of the 86 female referrals to the Identification and Referral to Improve Safety Programme (IRIS) between July 2015 and June 2016 had children:17

For the period between January 2013 and March 2015 the New Way Service was working with 103 families/couples. There were 252 children linked to these families, so on average 2 children had been affected by domestic abuse per family/couple.83% of the children were White British, others were mixed race or Polish. 64% of the children had been classified as children in need, this means they had been assessed to be in need of social care services. 36% of the children had been put on child protection plans.  A child protection plan is a plan put together at a child protection case conference detailing the ways in which the child is to be kept safe, how their health and development is to be promoted, and the ways in which professionals can support their family in promoting the child's welfare.  18 19

The 38 women who stayed at Next Link's safe house in Bath between April 2013-March 2014 had 57 children between them.  20 

76% of the 45 women supported by Next Link's resettlement/floating services during this period had children. 21

There were 2 children in the 7 households that were accepted as homeless due to issues of domestic abuse by the Council's housing team in 2014/15, 16 children in the 13 households in 2013/14, and 19 children in the 9 households in 2012/13. 22

Of the 151 women referred to the Julian House's Freedom Programme in 2014: 23 24

  • 60% had children
  • 29% were pregnant
  • 53% needed a crèche space

Of the women with children:

  • 66% had children under 18
  • 16.5% had a Child in Need Plan in place
  • 19% had a Child Protection Plan in place
  • 1. SaveLives (2014) In plain sight: The evidence from children exposed to domestic abuse, SaveLives Research Report, February 2014, http://www.caada.org.uk/documents/In_plain_sight_the_evidence_from_children_exposed_to_domestic_abuse.pdf (viewed 22/10/14)  
  • 2. SafeLives (2014) In plain sight: The evidence from children exposed to domestic abuse, SafeLives Research Report, Feb 2014, http://www.caada.org.uk/documents/In_plain_sight_the_evidence_from_children_exposed_to_domestic_abuse.pdf (viewed 22/10/14)  
  • 3. Research and Intelligence Team (2016) In house analysis of Avon and Somerset Police, BANES Domestic Abuse under 18 victims, witnesses and offenders – 2011 -2015 police counts, Bath and North East Somerset Council
  • 4. Research and Intelligence Team (2016) In house analysis of Avon and Somerset Police, BANES Domestic Abuse under 18 victims, witnesses and offenders – 2011 -2015 police counts, Bath and North East Somerset Council
  • 5. Research and Intelligence Team (2016) In house analysis of Avon and Somerset Police, BANES Domestic Abuse under 18 victims, witnesses and offenders – 2011 -2015 police counts, Bath and North East Somerset Council
  • 6. Research and Intelligence Team (2016) In house analysis of Avon and Somerset Police, BANES Domestic Abuse under 18 victims, witnesses and offenders – 2011 -2015 police counts, Bath and North East Somerset Council
  • 7. Research and Intelligence Team (2016) In house analysis of Avon and Somerset Police, BANES Domestic Abuse under 18 victims, witnesses and offenders – 2011/12 -2015/16 police counts, Bath and North East Somerset Council
  • 8.  Data & Performance Team, People & Communities (2015) Children's Social Care notifications of domestic abuse April 2012 - March 2015, Bath and North East Somerset Council
  • 9.  Child Protection Conference Chair (2015) Child Protection Conference Chair’s Service Annual Report 2014-15
  • 10. Research and Intelligence Team (2016) In-house analysis of B&NES MARAC data for 2010/11 to 2015/16 from Avon and Somerset Constabulary, Bath and North East Somerset Council
  • 11. Research and Intelligence Team (2016) In-house analysis of B&NES MARAC data for 2010/11 to 2015/16 from Avon and Somerset Constabulary, Bath and North East Somerset Council 
  • 12. Research and Intelligence Team (2016) In-house analysis of B&NES MARAC data for 2010/11 to 2015/16 from Avon and Somerset Constabulary, Bath and North East Somerset Council 
  • 13. Research and Intelligence Team (2016) In-house analysis of B&NES MARAC data for 2010/11 to 2015/16 from Avon and Somerset Constabulary, Bath and North East Somerset Council 
  • 14.  SafeLives (2016) SafeLives Insights service report Southside 12 months to April 2016
  • 15.  SafeLives (2016) SafeLives Insights service report Southside 12 months to April 2016
  • 16.  SafeLives (2016) SafeLives Insights service report Southside 12 months to April 2016
  • 17.  Holloway E. Monitoring Administrator (2016) IRIS Domestic Abuse Data, Southside 
  • 18. Research and Intelligence Team (2016) In house analysis of New Way Service data 2013 - March 15, Bath and North East Somerset Council
  • 19. Children's Legal Centre (2010) Child Protection Project, http://www.protectingchildren.org.uk/cp-system/initial-assessment/child-protection-plan/ 
  • 20. Potter R, Supporting People Manager (2015) Email correspondence - B&NES Refuge data 2013/14 - 2014/15, Bath and North Somerset Council
  • 21. Urry N (2013) Domestic Abuse Profile 2012/13, Bath and North East Somerset Council
  • 22. Potter R, Supporting People Manager (2015) Email correspondence (08/09/15) - Council's housing team 2014/15, 2013/14 and 2012/13 data, Bath and North Somerset Council
  • 23. Movsesian, A. - Case work Coordinator (2015) Julian House Freedom programme statistics -01/01/14 – 31/12/14, Email correspondence on the 10/04/15.
  • 24. Movsesian, A. - Case work Coordinator (2015) Julian House Freedom programme statistics -01/01/14 – 31/12/14, Email correspondence on the 14/09/15.