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  1. ITV Report

Children: the hidden victims of domestic violence in the West Country

Children affected by domestic abuse often fail to get the support they need. Credit: Jon Challicom/NSPCC/PA

Children are often the hidden victims of domestic violence and fail to get the appropriate support they need.

50,000
Domestic abuse-related offences recorded by police in the South West, 2017/18
2,000+
Children affected by domestic abuse referred to support services in the South West, 2017/18

The National Institute for Health Research is working with academics from across the South West to help those children affected.

Researchers have been speaking to case studies and holding focus groups to fully understand what young people experience when they have lived with someone who has been domestically abused.

By the time the pilot has finished, they will have spoken to hundreds of people from the West Country.

Around one in four women will be affected by domestic violence in their lives. Credit: PA images
1 in 4
The number of women that will be exposed to domestic violence in their lifetime

Around one in four women will be exposed to domestic violence at some point in their lives - whether this is physical, verbal or sexual.

This means a large number number of children are also affected by this abuse.

The findings of the study are not definitive, but it's aiming to get GPs to ask children the right questions and get them referred to the support services they need if they've been affected.

Once it's finished, it's hoped the results will be rolled out to GP surgeries across the country, so that more children get the support they need.