Domestic Abuse and Hidden Harms during Lockdown

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:00 pm on 14th January 2021.

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Photo of Robert Halfon Robert Halfon Chair, Education Committee, Chair, Education Committee 1:00 pm, 14th January 2021

My hon. Friend will be aware that organisations such as the Safeguarding Alliance have reported that there is a new frontier of vulnerable children exposed to county lines drug gangs, online harms and domestic abuse, and the BBC found that reports of online child abuse images increased by 50% during the last lockdown. Furthermore, many children on the fringes of care are often not attending school during this lockdown, even if permitted to do so.

Will my hon. Friend ensure that these children are identified by schools and checked by social services? Will she set out what measures the Government are taking to ensure that we do not have a safeguarding crisis in the offing for these young children? Finally, will she meet the Safeguarding Alliance to discuss these issues?