THE NUMBER of adults contacting the NSPCC about children suffering or witnessing domestic abuse in the West Midlands has more than doubled in the past five years.
Last year, the NSPCC’s West Midlands helpline received 449 calls about concerns relating to children experiencing physical violence and emotional abuse in their home – up from 221 in 2011/12.
More than 1,700 calls have been made in the last five years – and last year over 400 cases, involving 663 children, were deemed so serious by counsellors they were referred to the police or social services within the West Midlands.
Ten people a day are now getting in touch with the charity for this reason – and last year 83 per cent of contacts to the helpline had to be referred to external agencies.
The startling figures come as the NSPCC launches a national TV advertising campaign aimed at raising awareness of what a child can achieve when freed from domestic abuse and allowed to dream of big things.
NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless said home should be a place where children should feel safe, not a place where they are stalked by the fear of violence.
He added: “It is vital we don’t allow children suffering by living in a home plagued by domestic abuse to remain in the shadows.
“Anyone who is either a victim of abuse, suspects it is taking place or is worried about a child should report their concerns to the police or contact the NSPCC.
“There are people ready to listen and do everything they can to ensure that the children involved get to grow up in a happy environment.”
Signs that a child might be living in a home where domestic abuse is taking place:
1. Child becoming aggressive
2. Displaying anti-social behaviour
3. Suffering from depression or anxiety
4. Not doing as well at school