Hi, my name is Suzie and I am an adviser at Family Rights Group. We are the charity that works with parents in England and Wales whose children are in need, at risk or are in the care system and with members of the wider family who are raising children unable to remain at home.
I’m writing this advice blog to answer some of your questions about children’s services (social services) involvement with families who are experiencing or have experienced domestic violence.
Before I answer the questions which were sent, let me explain what domestic violence is and why it’s harmful to children:
Domestic violence can involve physical or sexual abuse, rape, emotional abuse and isolation, coercion, threats, intimidation, economic abuse, financial control, forced marriage and honour-based violence. It can happen online as well as offline. People who experience domestic violence may have a range of responses to it – fear, anxiety, isolation, depression, drug or alcohol misuse – and too often they feel blamed.
In this blog I refer to survivors of domestic violence as “the mother” or “she” and the abuser or perpetrator as “the father” or “he”. I’ve used this language because it reflects the situation in the majority of cases. However, Family Rights Group does recognise that men can also be survivors of domestic violence and that domestic violence can occur in same sex couples.
These questions were drafted with input from the Traveller Movement.
Research shows that witnessing domestic violence can be very harmful for children and this is specifically included in the legal definition of significant harm.
And now to answer the specific questions which were sent in.
Further Help and Information
I have answered all the questions which were sent and I hope the answers are helpful. If you’d like to know more, you can:-