Lack of support for children who witness domestic violence

By Lenore Rice

It is estimated that 25 per cent of children in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK will witness domestic violence before they reach the age of 18, and one charity says there is not enough child psychology support available.

The Early Intervention Foundation says "services are not actually there or are very patchy", and that the "consequences are really very severe for these children .. well into their adulthood".

Mothers who suffered domestic violence and have since managed to leave their abusive partners have talked about the impact on their children, including night terrors and becoming withdrawn at school. Others have talked about a gap in services when it comes to younger children, with one mother saying her son didn't receive counselling because the rules of the health service where she lived was that her son must be at least 9-years-old and displaying severe psychological symptoms to qualify. Her 11-year-old daughter did receive counselling.

The Department of Health says that £54million has been invested in child psychology therapies.

If you require legal advice from a solicitor in Northern Ireland specialising in domestic violence cases, contact Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast or Bangor by calling 0800 840 1363.

To read more information about domestic violence issues in Northern Ireland click here.