Charity calls for child domestic abuse victims to be given school priority

A charity report has said that children whose families have had to be relocated due to domestic violence should be given priority for school places.

According to the report from charities, Hestia and Pro Bono Economics there are around 500,000 children in the UK who have been exposed to domestic abuse.

However many of these are struggling to get children into another school after having to relocate to escape abuse.

Domestic violence costs public services up to £1.4 billion per year.

Earlier this year, the Domestic Abuse Bill was published by the Government to give more support to the victims of domestic abuse, and now the charities are calling for it to be amended to provide more help to the victims who are trying to get into another school following relocation.

They want priority for school places for these children, as is given to children in care or adopted from care and some children with special needs.

While, if the families are staying in refuges, they want local authorities to provide a change of school within 20 days.

Lyndsey Dearlove, of Hestia, claims that at present, children might be waiting from four to six months for a place and many families might have to move several times before getting a more permanent new home.

She said: “For too long children have been overlooked in the response to domestic abuse, seen merely as ‘witnesses’ rather than children who have experienced deep trauma and crisis. This must change.”

Lord O’Donnell, who chairs Pro Bono Economics, said: “Children exposed to domestic abuse suffer in the short, medium and long-term.

“As a society, we have a moral imperative to ensure protection from the immediate risk of such trauma but also to provide support whenever unfortunately such exposure should occur.”

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Alison Green
Alison joined Mackrell Turner Garrett in 1989 and qualified as a solicitor in 1991, becoming a partner in the firm in 2010. Her expertise covers matrimonial work, including divorce and the associated financial and children issues; pre and post-nuptial agreements; co-habitation disputes; civil partnership agreements and the breakdown of civil partnerships.