Putting a stop to physical abuse
Home Office figures suggest one child is killed every 10 days in England and Wales. Physical abuse is a problem that repeats through generations and it is growing in the UK.
A high price to pay
Each year in the UK, of those children physically abused:
- 379,000 are injured
- 70,000 require medical attention
- 2,800 are taken to Accident and Emergency
Only 10 per cent of children who are physically abused appear on the child protection register. This indicates the scale of the problem we face.
What we know
Physical abuse can occur in any family, but it is more likely to happen in families that are vulnerable to certain risks, such as violence, substance misuse and mental health issues.
Hundreds of thousands of children in the UK live with parents who are violent, mentally ill or misusing drugs or alcohol.
Effects on children who suffer from abuse include:
- physical changes to the developing brain and body as a result of trauma and stress
- mental health issues such as depression and anxiety
- turning to smoking, drinking or drug use
- disruption to education
- difficulties in forming and maintaining relationships.
What we are doing
The NSPCC is launching eight new programmes to tackle the physical abuse of children in high-risk families. These help parents, professionals and children and include:
- Family SMILES - Working to help families where parents with mental health issues.
- Caring Dads: Safer Children - Protecting children by working with fathers who are violent or abusive to their partners.
- Domestic Abuse: Recovering Together (DART) - Helping children recover from domestic abuse and improve relationships with their mothers.
- Family Environment: Drug Using Parents (FEDUP) - Supporting and minimising consequences of children who live with adult substance misuse.
We will be sharing what we learn from these programmes to end the physical abuse of many more vulnerable children.
The way forward
We are looking at ways to stop physical abuse in high-risk families. We want to offer support, find ways of identifying physical abuse and offer therapy for those who have been abused.
We want to do as much as we can to prevent the physical abuse of children.
Priorities and programmes
Physical abuse in high-risk-families (PDF 860Kb)
Information on physically abused children for professionals
Caring Dads: Safer Children
Domestic Abuse: Recovering Together (DART)
Family Environment: Drug Using Parents (FEDUP)
New Orleans Intervention Model (NIM)
Are you a child?
Do you need to talk? Call ChildLine on 0800 1111 or visit us online.
Worried about a child?
Don’t wait until you’re certain. Contact our trained helpline counsellors for 24/7 help, advice and support.