Skip to main content

Domestic Abuse: Victims

Question for Home Office

UIN 33514, tabled on 23 March 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the effect of social distancing on (a) victims of domestic abuse and (b) the children of those people.

Answered on

22 July 2020

Domestic abuse is a devastating crime. We fully recognise the severe impact it has on both victims and their children, and that many of them may feel even more vulnerable during social distancing and self-isolation.

The Government is liaising with specialist domestic abuse service providers and local authorities to monitor and assess the impact of social distancing on victims of domestic abuse and their children, and to ensure that sources of advice and support continue to be available to them.

Ensuring that vulnerable children remain protected is our top priority. Local authorities have the key day-to-day responsibility for delivery of children’s social care but we are considering all options to ensure that they are able to continue to deliver services effectively. Local authorities know their children, families and communities well and are best placed to make decisions about how to best manage children’s social care services during the current national emergency.

Attending education settings is known as a protective factor for children receiving the support of a social worker. We have therefore asked schools to remain open for children who are vulnerable, as well as for those children of workers critical to the COVID-19 response who absolutely need to attend. Vulnerable children include those who have a social worker, and those children and young people up to the age of 25 with education, health and care (EHC) plans.

There is an expectation that vulnerable children who have a social worker will attend provision, so long as they do not have underlying health conditions that put them at risk. In circumstances where a parent does not want to bring their child to an education setting, and their child is considered vulnerable, the social worker and education provider should explore the reasons for this directly with the parent.

The Home Office has provided £3.1 million this year for specialist support for children affected by domestic abuse, as a continuation of the Children Affected by Domestic Abuse fund.

The Government has also supported local authorities with a total of £3.2bn in additional funding, which will support local authorities in meeting additional demands, including on their children’s services, at this time.

Answered by

Home Office
Named day
Named day questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.