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Young People

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:

  • Mothers/Carers
  • Education Staff
  • Health Professionals
  • Youth Workers
  • Social Workers
  • Victim Support
  • Housing
  • 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 Domestic Abuse.

Children and Young People can begin to look at life experiences through a variety of approaches.

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
  • Advocacy
  • 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 abused.

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 the abuser
  • 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

Contact

Children and Young Persons Support Workers (CYP)

CYP Service
28 Sandgate
Ayr
KA7 1BW
Tel: 01292 267067 (9am - 4.30pm Mon - Fri or weekends and evenings by appointment
Mobile: 07870 885986/07870 885990 (call or text)
Email: support@sawa.org.uk

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Last updated: 25 February 2016

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