The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on child welfare: domestic abuse

During the pandemic, adults who work or volunteer with children and families aren’t able to maintain the same level of contact as normal. This makes it harder to understand what’s going on in a child’s life and spot when something isn’t right. It also makes it more difficult for children and young people to raise concerns about anything that’s going on at home.

Childline counselling sessions and NSPCC helpline contacts about domestic abuse have increased since the government’s stay at home guidance was issued.


We know that domestic abuse affects children in many ways, including their mental and physical wellbeing and behaviour. It has an impact on their family relationships and can also affect future relationships.


A new briefing uses insight from NSPCC helpline contacts and Childline counselling sessions to highlight the impact of domestic abuse on children and young people during the coronavirus pandemic.


Between 23 March and 17 May 2020 the NSPCC helpline received 1,500 contacts from adults worried about the impact of domestic abuse on children, and Childline delivered over 500 counselling sessions to children and young people who were worried about domestic abuse.


The key themes of these contacts include:


  • reduced access to support networks
  • lockdown bringing domestic abuse into sharp focus
  • making it harder to speak out
  • making it more difficult to leave
  • drinking during lockdown
  • exploiting fears about the coronavirus
  • young people worried about other family members



You can download the briefing here: The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on child welfare: domestic abuse


A recent report from the BBC Newsbight programme on the topic can be viewd below - viewer discretion is advised some people may find some scenes upsetting.



NSPCC are a leading children’s charity in the UK. They specialise in child protection and dedicated to protecting children today to prevent abuse tomorrow. They are the only UK children’s charity with statutory powers, which means thay can take action to safeguard children at risk of abuse.

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