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What about the children?

Almost a quarter of young adults in the UK have witnessed domestic violence in their childhood, and almost 1 in 20 children and young people in the UK have experience severe forms of domestic violence. Children are affected in many different ways by living with domestic violence and abuse. You may be frightened to ask for help because often the abuser will have told you that if you do the children will be taken away. Your children will not be removed for this reason. Agencies have a duty to ensure that children are safe and want to support you, as the non-abusing parent, to protect your family.

Experiencing and witnessing domestic abuse at home can be really harmful to children living in that household.

It can affect them in many ways - for example, lack of progress at school, anti-social behaviour, self-esteem issues and feelings of guilt and helplessness.

Even if you think that you are protecting your children from harm because the abuse is focused on you, they are still aware of it and it is affecting them.

If your children want more information about domestic abuse, how to keep themselves safe and help dealing with their feelings, there is a national website aimed at children called "The Hideout" - visit www.thehideout.org.uk

There are  specialist services in Cumbria who can support children affected by domestic violence and abuse .