Domestic child abuse: How to get help in lockdown

Councils have seen an increase in child referrals during lockdown. Credit: PA

Domestic abuse has spiked over the last 12 months during the coronavirus pandemic and with it an increasing number of children are being affected.

In the first three weeks of lockdown last year, 14 women and two children were killed - the highest rate for 11 years.

ITV News has been given exclusive figures showing the shocking rise in the number of children being affected in one of England’s most deprived towns. 

A children's service in Oldham has seen a 92% increase in serious cases involving domestic abuse.

The figures have prompted children's charities to call for the Domestic Abuse Bill, currently passing through Parliament, to include more support for children witnessing or experiencing domestic abuse.

Here's how you can get help if you or a child or young person you know might be the victim of domestic abuse or witnessing it.

If you are worried about a child

You can get in touch with the NSPCC in the following ways:

If you think you, your child or someone you know is in immediate danger

  • Call 999.

  • If you're unable to talk press 55 after dialling.

  • It is okay to leave your home during lockdown if you're experiencing abuse.

  • The police can also remove the person harming you from your home.

There has been a spike in reports of domestic abuse including those that involve children. Credit: ITV News

Report Domestic Abuse anonymously

Crimestoppers has launched a campaign to report domestic abuse anonymously:

  • You can report domestic abuse on the Crimestoppers website - your IP address will never be traced and you do not have to leave your name or contact number.

  • You can call freephone 0800 555 111 - the charity has never traced a call and your number will not be saved.

Call the National Domestic Abuse Helpline

  • If you are experiencing domestic abuse and you need help call the helpline on 0808 2000 247

  • You can send a message to the helpline via their online form, which has a safe 'exit quickly' button, and someone will get back to you when it is safe for them to do so.