1. ITV Report

35% rise in referrals from NSPCC in Cumbria and NE

Children who are worried about domestic abuse can call Childline on 08001111 Photo: PA

NSPCC referrals to child protection agencies in Cumbria and the North East have risen by 35%.

Last year the NSPCC made 226 referrals across the region following reports to the helpline of domestic child abuse.

A total of 167 referrals were made during 2015/16.

Last year the charity received 4,749 contacts from adults in the UK concerned about violent behaviour around children.

This is a record number of calls, up more than three quarters from 2012/13.

Around 85% of calls were so serious they were referred to the police or social services.

Callers witnessed abuse such as bruising, parents being hospitalised, and aggressive behaviour towards babies.

The NSPCC is now trialling an early-intervention service called Steps to Safety.

The service aims to help families reduce stress, manage emotions and respond to situations more calmly.

NSPCC Chief Executive said:

Domestic abuse can have a huge impact on a child’s physical and emotional wellbeing, and this sharp increase in reports shows that more people are speaking up on behalf of frightened children living in violent homes.

We all have a part to play in tackling domestic abuse, and it’s important to pick up the phone if you’re concerned so that our trained advisers can offer non-judgemental advice, discuss possibilities and take action where necessary.

Stepping in early and putting the child at the heart of all decisions in domestic abuse cases is vital in keeping children safe. It is vital that young people affected by domestic abuse have access to the right kind of support.

– Peter Wanless, Chief Executive, NSPCC

Children and young people who are worried about domestic abuse can call Childline on 08001111.