There was a 25% increase in reports of child abuse in 2011, according to figures released by Women's Aid.

The organisation's latest report shows that there were over 13,000 calls to its helpline last year.

Over 2,000 of those were disclosures of direct emotional, physical and sexual abuse of children in homes where mothers were also being abused, which is a 25% increase on the previous year.

The report also notes that almost 3,000 calls noted that children were bearing witness to abuse and violence against their mothers.

Women's Aid Director Margaret Martin said the protection of children needs to be reflected in any changes to domestic violence legislation or family law.