Women's Aid - Children and Young People Matter Too!
We offer support to Children and Young People who have experienced Domestic Abuse
This free Confidential Service is available to any child or young person under the
age of 18 years who is temporarily or permanently resident within South Ayrshire.
It is expected that referrals will come from:
- Education Staff
- Health Professionals
- Youth Workers
- Social Workers
- Victim Support
- Throughcare Workers
Or any agency/organisation who provide direct services to women and children
This service offered to young people whose mother/carer is in agreement. However
it is recognised that they may be exceptional circumstances which prohibit this.
Children over 12 can self-refer and are encouraged to do so.
This service is usually be provided on a pre booked appointments basis although
crisis work will always be undertaken.
The service will at all times uphold the group’s Child Protection Policy which is
openly displayed within the support areas and routinely explained to potential service
users and their carers.
Supporting Children and Young People
The service offers emotional and practical support and aims to help reduce feelings
of fear, anxiety and uncertainty for Children and Young People who have experienced
Children and Young People can begin to look at life experiences through a variety
Emotional and practical support can also be offered to Young People who come to
the attention of the Reporter’s Department because Domestic Abuse is an Issue, or
to Young People who are cited as witnesses in court in cases of assault or who are
the subject of contact and residence orders.
Methods of Support available include:
1 to 1 emotional support through the use of approved resources including computer
generated art therapy work developed to help Children and Young People make sense
of their life experiences by
- Talking and Listening
- Expressing and validating their feelings
- Mother / child relationship work
- Everyday practical support
- Peer group work
- Telephone, text and email support
Service delivery will be user led and geared towards individual needs
What We Know
Studies asking where children are during attacks on their mothers have found that
the child is in the same or the next room in 90% of cases (Hughes, 1992). Women’s
Aid experience, backed up by children's writing (e.g. "Young People Say…". 1997)
and research, e.g. interviews with children by Jaffe et al (1990, p20) revealed
the majority of children described in detail assaults their parents were unaware
they had witnessed.
Living with abuse is emotional abuse - Children may directly observe violence or
threats against their mother; overheard abuse; see the effects without seeing the
abuse or experience the effects of fear and intimidation themselves. Many try and
help their mother, and may themselves be directly emotionally, physically or sexually
Our reviews or literature (Mullender and Morley, 1995) suggests 40-60% of men who
physically abuse their partners also physically abuse children in 70% of cases (Bowker
et al). Studies show links between child sexual abuse and domestic violence (Hester
and Pearson, 1998 and Forman, 1996). Many children disclose mental, physical and
or sexual abuse when they are safe and they and their mother are supported.
An estimated 100,000 Children and Young People in Scotland are currently living
with Domestic Abuse
Scottish Women’s Aid experience has shown us that Children and Young People respond
to living with and fleeing Domestic Abuse as individuals and are entitled to support
and understanding in their own right. However their experience of living with Domestic
Abuse may mean they are:
- Constantly tired/unable to concentrate at school due to lack of sleep or anxiety
- Persistently late for the same reasons or because their mothers are also exhausted
- Forced to wait at home due to injury to themselves of their mother or threats form
- Choosing to wait at home to care for their mother and/or siblings, and/or trying
to protect them from abuse
- Depressed and lacking in self-esteem
- Displaying emotional and/or behavioural difficulties at school
- 'Making trouble' in an attempt to unite their parents over their behaviour e.g.
Excluded from school
Children and Young Persons Support Workers (CYP)
Tel: 01292 267067 (9am - 4.30pm Mon - Fri or weekends and evenings by appointment
Mobile: 07870 885986/07870 885990 (call or text)