Children who have been affected by domestic abuse will be treated as victims even if they were not present during violent incidents, it has been decided.
Under updated legal guidance, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) says children will get automatic access to support such as mental health and safeguarding services.
Prosecutors will also be asked to specifically consider the impact domestic abuse has on children when making a charging decision.
This will include speaking to schools or Child Services to support evidence of long-term abuse.
Kate Brown, CPS domestic abuse lead, said growing up in a violent or toxic home has a “hugely damaging” and “long-lasting” impact on children.
“Today’s guidance, which recognises them as victims, not only offers them automatic support but means the effect on them is considered as part of the justice process.
“There’s no doubt that having a clear understanding of the family dynamic and how a young victim may respond to the criminal justice process, will help us bring more abusers to court.”
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She added domestic abuse represents a third of all crime referred to the CPS.
“Working with police and partners, we are dedicated to improving every aspect of how these cases are handled, so victims can come forward with confidence,” she said.