26,000 children affected by domestic abuse last year in Sheffield

A report has revealed more than 26,000 young people experienced domestic abuse in Sheffield last year.

Sheffield City Council’s strategy and resources policy committee heard the outcome of the first annual report of work on addressing domestic and sexual abuse/violence against women and girls.

Using Women’s Aid national audit data and Sheffield MARAC (Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference) data, the authors estimated that there would have been around 26,019 children affected by domestic abuse in Sheffield in 2022/23.

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Furthermore, although the report’s conclusion was “overall Sheffield should be proud of how it responded to domestic abuse”, it also found that almost 90,000 adults have been affected by domestic abuse at some point since 2016 – of which 23,860 last year.

The authors also estimated that more than 10,000 people had been sexually assaulted – it includes rape or assault by penetration (including attempts), indecent exposure, and unwanted sexual touching – in Sheffield in the 2022/23 period.

It was reported that 364 adults with 574 children were supported in safe accommodation: refuges, dispersed accommodation and properties with Sanctuary Scheme measures.

The authors added: “Most service users are women but male service users are up to 12 per cent of users in victim/survivor services for adults.

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“Many users report that they are disabled indicating a clear link between experience of abuse and impact on health.”

Black and other minorities (such as LGBT+ people) are also heavily affected.

The report added: “Services work with between 4 per cent and 30 per cent of clients who are LGBT+.

“Black and minoritized users make up to 57 per cent of users in women’s refuges with the lowest proportion – 16 per cent being in perpetrator support.”

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They said “Sheffield has some high-quality services offering invaluable support to victims and survivors in the city” but there are some areas where there are pressures.

They concluded that “it is likely that the demand for domestic and sexual abuse support will continue to rise”.