Police in England and Wales made 244,000 referrals – a daily average of 668 – to social services for children affected by domestic abuse in 2020/21, according to NSPCC analysis of official data.
The numbers represents an 8% increase on the previous year.
“Sadly, we know these figures are the tip of the iceberg as domestic abuse often goes unreported,” said spokeswoman Anna Edmundson.
The findings come against the background of a record number of calls to the child protection charity’s helpline from people worried about domestic abuse in a Covid-blighted 2021. It is generally accepted incidents increased when families were stuck indoors together during the counter-coronavirus lockdowns.
The NSPCC’s research and comments coincide with children now being officially recognised as victims under the 2021 Domestic Abuse Act. Local authorities must provide housing support when families and children need to escape domestic abuse.