A dramatic increase in the number of referrals to child protection agencies in Yorkshire and the Humber has been revealed by the NSPCC.
The National Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Children made 450 referrals to agencies last year following reports to its helpline of children being affected by domestic abuse. This marked a 28% rise from 323 referrals in the region during 2015/16.
Last year the charity received 4,749 contacts from UK adults concerned about violent and abusive behaviour around children – its highest ever total, up more than three quarters from 2012/13.
Some 85% of these contacts were so serious that they were referred on to other agencies, such as the police or social services.
NSPCC research shows that one in five children have been exposed to domestic violence, with a third of those also experiencing another form of abuse.
One Helpline caller said: “The mother is always covered head-to-toe in bruises and I have seen both mother and the father screaming at each other in the street in front of the children.
“The father is very aggressive and controlling towards her and the children and I’m worried about what the two children might be experiencing in the home. I have previously seen the father handle the children very roughly and they both seem terrified of him.”