In the last year, the NSPCC Helpline received almost 1,400 contacts about children experiencing coercive and controlling behaviour as part of domestic abuse.
The Childline service gave over 1,000 counselling sessions to children and young people experiencing domestic abuse, with 221 mentioning coercive and controlling behaviour
What’s more, their new analysis, supported by the COVID-19 support fund, shows that they received an average of 131 concerns from adults and children each month, relating to domestic abuse.
Children have been reaching out to Childline after experiencing domestic abuse and coercive control in their family. A 17-year-old girl who contacted Childline said:
“I believe my dad matches all the criteria for narcissistic behaviour and coercive control towards my mum. My dad has been controlling my mum her whole life. I don’t want my little brother and sister to grow up with what it was like for me.”
The NSPCC have stated that the government must make high-quality, specialist support available to children who have experienced domestic abuse – which includes therapeutic support services, Independent Domestic Violence and Abuse Advisors (IDVAs), helplines and counselling services.
Paddi Vint, Development and Quality Manager for the Domestic Abuse Practice Advisor Team at the NSPCC Helpline, said:
“It is worrying to know children are having to deal with coercive control, especially over the summer when they are away from teachers and other adults who often spot concerns and who they can turn to for support.
It is vital that everyone is aware of what coercive control can look like. This will mean that more of us can spot the signs that children and young people may be experiencing it and reach out with any concerns.
We will continue to press the government to improve the support available for child victims of abuse including by increasing the supply of high quality, specialist therapeutic and mental health support within local communities across the country.”