4,000 children in Berkshire that living with domestic violence in their homes are not currently being treated as victims under law, new figures have revealed.

Department for Education figures showed that domestic violence was a factor in 246,720 child protection assessments across the country in 2017/18. The NSPCC are calling on the Government to recognise the children, 688 of whom live in Slough and 250 live in Windsor and Maidenhead, as victims under law.

The charity claim legally recognising children as victims of domestic abuse would provide children with greater protection through domestic abuse protection orders.

It is also claimed that legal recognition would help professionals to act to protect children at risk and help authorities provide better services to help children deal with the psychological trauma of witnessing domestic abuse.

Two people who back the charity’s call is Luke and Ryan Hart. The pairs father murdered their mother and sister in 2016 after two decades of domestic use.

Ryan said: “We didn’t recognise it as abuse because there was never any violence, but it was coercive control, financial, emotional, psychological abuse.

“What is often missed is the effects of living in that environment has on kids, growing up not only witnessing abuse but experiencing it day in and day out, how that affects us growing up and into adult life.”

“Children living with domestic abuse are not just witnesses to the abuse, they are victims themselves. Luke and I know first-hand the psychological and emotional effects can have on you by seeing someone you love being a victim of abuse.”

Almundena Lara, Head of Policy at the NSPCC, said: “It is quite astonishing that the government is dragging its feet when deciding whether to recognise young people as victims when almost a quarter of a million children that we know of are living with domestic abuse experience.

“As well as the day-to-day distress that living with domestic abuse creates, it can cause long-term problems into adulthood that can only be addressed through targeted service that understand the complex trauma children living with domestic abuse experience.

“For this to be done effectively we need the Government to open their eyes to the harm domestic abuse has on children.”