The Sunday Mirror has launched a campaign to highlight the number of children murdered by their parents after a nine-month probe carried out by the tabloid.
The probe found that 63 children had been killed by their parents from 2004 to 2019.
The data collected confirmed that 52 of the 63 children were killed by fathers known to authorities for domestic abuse. A further seven children were killed by both parents in cases where the fathers had similar histories.
All of the children who died had parents who were known to either police, social workers or family courts for being violent.
The investigation also revealed that family members often tried to warn authorities about the dangers but were ignored.
The “Save Kids from Violent Parents” campaign aims to ensure that parents and carers convicted of violent crimes, child abuse or sexual offences and known to the authorities do not have automatic access to their children.
The campaign is calling for an amendment to the Government’s domestic abuse bill which would make it harder for violent parents to have contact.
Shadow Home Office minister Carolyn Harris is set to table the amendment to the Government’s domestic abuse bill in response to the newspaper’s investigation.
Domestic violence charity Refuge is working in collaboration with the Sunday Mirror.
Chief executive Sandra Horley told the Sunday Mirror:
“Domestic abuse needs to be taken more seriously by family courts as children are paying for decisions around contact, sometimes with their lives. Ending unsafe contact and improving how family courts respond to domestic abuse is essential if we are to end this widespread problem.”
The Sunday Mirror’s campaign features three demands:
“1. A change in the law, which means anyone who has been convicted of violent crime, child abuse or sexual offences can’t have automatic, unsupervised access to their kids. The same rules would apply to those who’d had similar findings made against them in the civil courts.
The ban could only be overturned by a judge if the parent had undergone a thorough assessment by an independent expert proving they have been rehabilitated.
2. Mandatory, standardised training in domestic abuse for judges, social workers and any other professionals involved in child access arrangements.
We also want to see domestic abuse training for coroners overseeing domestic homicide inquests.
3. More State funding to support the hundreds of thousands of children in the UK affected by domestic abuse – including the 3,627 kids currently being supported by Refuge.
It is only with the right support, such as specialist therapy, that these children can recover from the trauma they have experienced.”
You can read more about the campaign here. (WARNING: The article contains details about child deaths).