The impact of domestic abuse on children has been well researched and evidence shows that children’s physical, behavioural and emotional wellbeing is negatively impacted by witnessing abuse and violence. The effects of social learning theory and learnt cycles of behaviour shows us that children who live in homes where domestic abuse occurs have a higher risk of developing similar patterns of relationships in adulthood and difficulties managing conflict and peer relationships. In recent years we have seen the development of several domestic abuse prevention programmes which tackle children’s understanding and acceptance of domestic abuse before they begin relationships which mimic what they have seen.
To this end, we are very excited to have been awarded funding from the Devon Community Foundation and Santander Bank to enable us to offer six groups of Children’s domestic abuse prevention work. These groups are designed to work with children in primary school who have witnessed abuse and uses a variety of engaging and thought provoking activities to help children process their experiences and make informed choices about what behaviour is acceptable and what behaviour is not.
The outcome from the groups will be that children will have a better understanding of safe behaviour, they will have formed ways to protect themselves from being a victim and they will explore safety plans and help seeking behaviours to use if they are exposed to further abuse.
The courses will start in October 2017.