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Help for children and young people affected by domestic abuse

Coronavirus (COVID-19): latest information about domestic violence and abuse support.

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I want to help a child or young person affected by domestic abuse

Notice the signs: the physical, psychological and emotional effects of domestic violence on children can vary according to their age and gender or the frequency and type of violence they're witnessing but very often the effects can be severe and long-lasting.

Some signs that are commonly seen with children experiencing and witnessing domestic abuse include:

  • Difficulty sleeping or nightmares and flashbacks of violent incidents.
  • Easily startled.
  • Complaining of physical symptoms such as tummy aches.
  • Wetting their bed.
  • Temper tantrums, aggression, anger or confusion.
  • Suffering from depression, stress or anxiety.
  • Attachment or protectiveness towards non-abusing parent.
  • Poor self-esteem, shyness or withdrawing from contact with people.
  • Behaving as though they're much younger than they are.
  • Difficulties at schools with learning and behaviour, rebellion against authority figures.
  • Playing truant or using alcohol or drugs.
  • Self-harming, for example taking overdoses, cutting themselves, under-eating.
  • Forming inappropriate relationships or friendship.
  • Finding it difficult to communicate or express their feelings.
  • Resenting the non-abusing parent for putting up with the abuse or not standing up for themselves.

If you're concerned that a child or young person is experiencing or witnessing domestic abuse, there's a lot you can do to help.

Try talking to them as this can help them to address the negative effects of the experience. Remember not to pressure them or threaten them. Make time for them to come to you if they want to.

Report the abuse: if you're concerned about a child or young person’s safety, you can contact the Complex Early Help and Safeguarding Hub, Monday-Friday from 8.45am-4.45pm on 0300 303 0440 or email Outside these hours, call 0300 303 8875.

If you're a professional with concerns about a child's mental health and wellbeing, please ring our Single Point of Access on 0161 856 4424 to discuss their needs and the options available.

I am a child or young person wanting help and support

If you're a child or young person living with violence at home, you're not alone .There are many others in your situation and help is available. It’s important to remember that the abuse is not your fault. There are many abusive relationships which don’t include children or young people.

  • Kooth - online counselling and support for young people.
  • Childline  - a free, 24-hour confidential helpline for children and young people who need to talk. Trained counsellors are there to provide support and advice about any problem that’s on your mind.
  • The Hideout - a website for children and young people to help you understand domestic violence and abuse and how to take positive action if it’s happening to you.
  • Disrespect Nobody - a website for young people, where you'll find information about abuse in relationships and how to get help and support.
  • School nursing service - provides confidential advice face to face and by text message.
  • #Thrive - child and adolescent mental health service.
  • Many schools and academies are able to help and support children and young people affected by domestic violence and abuse within the school. For further information, please ask your class or form teacher.
  • NSPCC - national charity providing helping and support on many difficulties children and young people are faced with.
  • LoveRespect - advice about relationships and abuse for young people.

Who else can help?

  • Home-Start – home visits to provide support to parents in various situations - for example, isolation, addressing child's health needs, healthy eating, signposting for children and adults, autism support for parents and siblings - 01706 629651.
  • Talk English Project – for people with low levels of English to help improve their language skills, access service and get more involved in the community.
  • Rochdale & District Mind – mental health support.
  • Early Break – drug and alcohol support service for under 18s.
  • The Sunrise Team – support for young people who've experienced child sexual exploitation.

Police and school partnership to support children affected by domestic abuse  - Operation Encompass

Operation Encompass logo.

Operation Encompass is a police and school partnership which supports children and young people exposed to domestic abuse.

All primary and secondary schools in the borough are part of Operation Encompass. Our schools always endeavour to offer the best support possible for our students.

How will Operation Encompass work in the borough?

When a Rochdale borough child is witness to or involved in a domestic abuse incident:

  • Rochdale Borough Police will:
    • Notify the child's school at the start of the next school day. When an incident occurs on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, the police will contact the school on the following Monday.
    • Give information in confidence to the school's key adult. The key adult is also known as the designated safeguarding lead. You can see details about the key adult at your child's school on the school's website. View a list of school websites and contact details
  • Schools in the borough will then be able to:
    • Recognise a child's situation immediately and discretely.
    • Create a secure and sympathetic environment.
    • Provide quick support within the school environment. Children who access immediate support are better safeguarded against the short, medium and long-term effects of domestic abuse. 

Want to know more about Operation Encompass?

Watch the video below to listen to a Rochdale borough police officer explain what Operation Encompass is, why it's important, what the police will be doing in the borough and what their future plans for Operation Encompass are. 


Watch PC Kirsten Buggy explain Operation Encompass on YouTube (2mins 10secs)


  • In an emergency, dial 999 and ask for help.
  • When you can't talk, dial 999 then press 55 when prompted.
  • For non-emergency police assistance, dial 101 for the Greater Manchester Police Switchboard (24-hour service).

​Domestic abuse contact details - see who can help with domestic violence and abuse.