Children, young people and the involvement of children’s services

2017 Insights briefing

At the time they start school, at least one child in every class will have been living with domestic abuse since they were born.

  • One in five

    children in every reception class

Our Insights dataset reveals that:

  • two in five children (41%) in families where there is domestic abuse have been living with the abuse since they were born
  • for some children, exposure to abuse not only starts early, but continues into later childhood.
  • of all the children in our dataset who had been living with abuse for their whole lives, over a third (37%) were more than five years old

This briefing looks at the evidence on child survivors of domestic abuse in more detail.


Fear of social services was the main single source of stress and at times... In many ways the institutions that were supposed to help me were the most dangerous since they had more power to take my daughter away from me than my abusive husband.


Further research and reading

Mother and son walking and holding hands

SafeLives Insights service

Insights enables domestic abuse services to understand their clients’ needs using reliable evidence, ensuring services provide the right resources to victims, survivors and their families.
Woman looking out over balcony

Children and young people

Find out more about Safe Young Lives our programme of work across the UK to reduce the risk experienced by young people and to improve the care pathways they can access.