Child abuse calls to NSPCC up by a fifth

Since the start of the coronavirus lockdown there has been an almost 20 per cent increase in calls to the NSPCC from adults concerned about child abuse.

The NSPCC fear lockdown could be intensifying abuse as schools and other spaces remain closed. Figures indicate that calls to the charity concerning children facing potential emotional abuse rose from 529 to 792 in the first month since government measures were imposed.

Overall calls rose from 1,867 in the four weeks before lockdown to 2,216 between 23 March and 19 April.

Peter Wanless, NSPCC chief executive, said: "The longer the lockdown goes on, the more intense and at-risk children are if they are invisible to the outside world. Reports we're getting around emotional abuse, in particular, are rising so that is troubling."

Organisations supporting children affected by domestic abuse have recently been given a £3 million funding boost. This can include financial support for one-to-one and group counselling sessions to improve the mental health of children affected and early intervention schemes.