Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 April 2014

Fear over children who see violence

A surveys says that children who witness violence at home are more likely to seriously harm someone else

Children who witness violence at home are more likely to seriously harm someone else, carry a weapon or be excluded from school, according to a new survey.

The NSPCC questioned more than 6,000 children, young people and carers, and said it found "a clear link between witnessing family violence at a young age and serious behavioural problems in later life".

Now the charity is urging adult and children's services to work together to ensure youngsters' needs are addressed when violence is reported in their homes.

It is also asking schools to look out for bad behaviour being a potential indicator of abuse at home.

The NSPCC's research shows how children who witness family violence, although not being a direct victim, are four times more likely to carry a weapon or seriously harm someone than children from non-violent homes.

They are also three times more likely to be involved in different types of anti-social behaviour and twice as likely to be excluded from school.

The same group of youngsters is three times more likely to take drugs, steal, spray graffiti or bully and twice as likely to get drunk or get into fights.

They are five times more likely to run away from home.

NSPCC chief executive Andrew Flanagan said: "It shows a clear link between witnessing family violence at a young age and serious behavioural problems in later life.

"This shows that even if a child hasn't been physically harmed themselves, they can still be hugely impacted by what has happened."

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