A CHILDREN'S charity is pushing for the government to recognise around 3,000 young people in Wiltshire living with domestic abuse as victims.

NSPCC has accused the government of ignoring the effect growing up in abusive households can have on children, both physically, socially and mentally, as a consultation leading up to the latest bill refers to the effects of abuse on those aged over 16 only.

The charity is urging the government to publish its Domestic Violence and Abuse White Paper and is currently campaigning for youths to be considered in this bill, so they can be treated as victims by law.

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Figures from Department for Education for 2017/18 suggest domestic violence was a factor in 246,720 child protection assessments across England, all unrecognised as victims by the justice system.

Jade Johnson, team manager for Children’s Services in Swindon said the government is "dragging its feet when deciding whether to recognise young people as victims", describing the process as "astonishing".

Ms Johnson added: “For this to be done effectively we need government to open their eyes to the harm domestic abuse has on children and give them victim status in the upcoming white paper to ensure they receive the services they need.”

According to NSPCC, if children received legal recognition they would be granted explicit protection through domestic abuse protection orders, and more authority and support services will be on hand to help.

The call is backed by several celebrities including former X Factor star, Jahmene Douglas, who described his home as a "prison" after witnessing his dad abuse his mother during his childhood.

He encourages people to deal with domestic abuse experiences as soon as they can, adding: "For me, mentally sticks with you the most – that is what keeps you under control.

“I would say the most painful time is after the abuser has left and you’re learning to be free, it has taken me all this time to learn how to be free."