Critically Discuss and Reflect on the Principles of Professional Practice Which Demonstrate Effective Safeguarding to Support the Needs of Vulnerable Children Living with Domestic Violence

Critically discuss and reflect on the principles of professional practice which demonstrate effective safeguarding to support the needs of vulnerable children living with Domestic Violence

Children who live with domestic violence are often referred to as the invisible victims (Osofsky,, J.D 1995); with most victims being unaware of the significant impact abuse has on children. The physical and emotional implications caused by domestic abuse may be long lasting and detrimental and can begin even before a baby is born, with one in three victims stating that domestic abuse started when they became pregnant.   However, with early intervention and effective safeguarding and support, the child can begin to understand that the behaviour witnessed is not their fault – and is fundamentally wrong.
In order to effectively safeguard vulnerable children, professionals must understand domestic abuse and the impact on those who are living with it.   Although much work has been done around awareness raising, this remains a significant problem, with 1 in 6 children in the UK being exposed (Radford, L. et al (2011)).  
  Conflict over child contact can significantly increase the risk of serious harm, or death, which a victim may face.   Even if a child is not in the same room as the abuse, they will still be affected.   It has been found that 86% of children coming from homes where domestic abuse is prevalent have either witnessed or heard the abuse.   If the child, when entering adulthood does not challenge these behaviours, then the abuse may manifest itself therefore meaning they could go on to be a victim or perpetrator themselves.   However, it is a myth that all children who have experienced or witnessed abuse will become a victim or offender and often, if the right support is offered, they become fully functioning members of society – making a conscious effort not to be like their abuser.  
Ten women are assaulted every minute in the UK, but only 1 of those results in a...