Surge in child emotional abuse and neglect cases

PUBLISHED: 08:00 16 June 2014

THE NSPCC has seen a surge in serious emotional abuse and neglect cases in North Somerset.

THE NSPCC has seen a surge in serious emotional abuse and neglect cases in North Somerset.

Copyright Archant Ltd

THE NSPCC has seen a surge in serious emotional abuse and neglect cases in North Somerset.

The child welfare charity was involved in 22 cases so serious they needed to be referred to the police or child protection in 2013-14, compared with seven in 2012-13 - a rise of more than 200 per cent.

Figures across the whole of Somerset paint a similarly bleak position. Across the county, the NSPCC has reported a 157 per cent rise in referrals, from 28 cases in 2012-13 to 72 in 2013-14.

The organisation’s South West head Sharon Copsey said: “Emotional neglect and abuse cause real harm to children and we are supporting more people than ever before who want a safe, non-judgemental place in which to talk through their concerns.

“As a result of this we are able to recognise the most serious cases and are referring an unprecedented number of emotional neglect and abuse cases to children’s services and the police.”

Across the South West, 625 cases were deemed to be serious enough to be referred to local authorities for further investigation.

Chief executive of Action For Children, Tony Hawkhead said: “This increase in calls from the public shows both the scale and seriousness of emotional abuse and a heightened awareness of it.

The news comes as the Government considers passing a new law outlawing emotional neglect and abuse of children, as well as physical neglect.

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