Committee (3rd Day)

Part of Serious Crime Bill [HL] – in the House of Lords at 3:30 pm on 15th July 2014.

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Photo of Baroness Howarth of Breckland Baroness Howarth of Breckland Crossbench 3:30 pm, 15th July 2014

My Lords, I shall speak very briefly as I hope that the Minister will take these amendments away and come back with a combination. I support the noble and learned Baroness, Lady Butler-Sloss, and her companions in their amendment, but I am absolutely with the noble Baroness, Lady Walmsley, and the noble Lord, Lord Ponsonby, in relation to the age of these children.

Some years ago the Social Research Unit at Dartington produced a compendium of all the research about emotional abuse in children. It showed that the development of children who had been emotionally abused was more severely impeded in the long term than the development of those who had been physically abused. This is different from sexual abuse, which is another thing. Children who had experienced physical abuse were more likely to be able to survive and grow through it than those who had been emotionally abused. Those children whose parents had never made a proper emotional contact with them were unlikely to make relationships later. So, in terms of mental health and the economics of the situation, looking after these children, and doing so until they are 18, makes really good sense.