Domestic abuse

The scale of adverse childhood experiences in London

07 January 2020

Between April 2017 and March 2018 in London:

  • 23,097 children experienced domestic violence and abuse.
  • 16,394 children experienced parental mental ill-health.
  • 14,432 children in London experienced parental alcohol and drug misuse.
  • 3,097 children simultaneously experienced all three together.[2]

Early neglect and trauma on children can have substantial negative outcomes later on in life. These potentially traumatic events are called Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). The Committee heard that children exposed to adverse events face an increased risk of experiencing poor health and social outcomes in adulthood.

The London Assembly Health Committee examined the combination of three ACEs which commonly co-occur (domestic violence and abuse, parental mental ill-health and parental alcohol and drug misuse) to assess how access to and support from services could be improved. The Committee has published its short report, ‘Connecting up the care’, calling for the Mayor and the London Health Board to create an action plan. The plan should:

  • Assess the effectiveness of information sharing and data collection, which is key for services to function effectively.
  • Promote multi-agency working, which is vital for person focused care, as there is unequal access to this for Londoners.
  • Adopt a trauma-informed approach that makes people feel safer and more supported by services to improve outcomes.

Dr Onkar Sahota AM, Chair of the Health Committee said:

“There are significant numbers of children in London experiencing trauma, either domestic abuse and violence, parental mental ill-health, drug and alcohol misuse and in many cases all three simultaneously.”

“The Mayor says he is committed to providing every child in London with the best start in life and the Health Committee wants to hold him to this.

“We strongly call on the Mayor to implement the measures we have identified in an action plan to improve the health outcomes of children experiencing adverse childhood experiences.” 

Notes to editors

  1. ‘Connecting up the Care’ report is attached.
  2. Department for Education statistics, obtained via a Freedom of Information request. 
  3. Dr Onkar Sahota AM, Chair of the Health Committee, is available for interview – see contact details below.
  4. London Assembly Health Committee
  5. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.

For media enquiries, please contact Lisa Lam on 020 7084 2713.  For out of hours media enquiries, call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the London Assembly duty press officer.  Non-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100.

Share this page