National Children’s Day – A Day to Act – Sunday 12th May

National Children’s Day – A Day to Act

Sunday the 12th May marks National Children’s Day, a day where the rights and freedoms of childhood are celebrated. It’s a time when children nationwide engage in activities aimed at raising awareness, both in their schools and with their families. However, the reality for many children is that this day doesn’t signify celebration. It is another daunting day filled with fear, confusion, isolation and being in a state of heightened awareness. According to research by NSPCC, 1 out of every 5 children faces exposure to domestic abuse within the supposed sanctuary of their own homes.

FACING THE FACTS

According to the Department for Education, domestic abuse is the most common factor identified at the end of social care assessments for children in need.

An estimated 130,000 children in the UK live in households with high-risk domestic abuse; that is, where there is a significant risk of harm or death. (CAADA’s 2nd National Policy Report)

In the year ending March 2023, 78% of children living with domestic abuse are directly harmed by the perpetrator of the abuse, in addition to the harm caused by witnessing the abuse of others (SafeLives. (2023). Marac National Dataset, SafeLives: Bristol)

In April 2021, the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 became law, and states that children who have been exposed to domestic abuse are now recognised as victims in their own right. This includes children who see, hear, or experience the effects of domestic abuse and who are related to the perpetrator, or the person being abused. This highlighted the vital need for specialist children’s services to be developed and expanded to support and protect children and reduce the impact of domestic abuse.

Understanding what constitutes a healthy relationship and appropriate behaviour is critical. It is absolutely crucial that children who have been subjected to the trauma of routinely witnessing and directly experiencing domestic abuse understand boundaries and develop coping strategies. At BWP, our highly skilled Children’s Outreach Workers provide trauma informed, one-to-one support to help children process and understand their experiences, and to recognise unhealthy behaviours and to develop coping strategies that will build resilience longer-term. We also facilitate group sessions for children and their mothers, aimed at restoring family bonds that have been eroded by domestic abuse. This wraparound approach means we can equip mothers with the right knowledge and understanding from the child’s perspective; enabling them to effectively guide their children through the journey of recovery, while they themselves are healing. Through our Family Wellbeing Programme, we offer a wide range of activities that promote health and wellbeing in a safe and nurturing environment, that encourage families to share their feelings, develop new skills, build confidence and increase self-esteem, and most importantly, empower them towards personal independence and to positively re-build their lives free from abuse.

What should I do if I notice signs of domestic abuse, or I’m worried about a child?

If you are concerned that a child may be at imminent risk of domestic abuse, always call 999 immediately.

If you are concerned that a child or young person could be at non-immediate risk, there are services you can contact. Call the National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247 or contact Childline online or on their freephone on 0800 1111.

Sponsor a child today

Our waiting list is continuing to grow. We need your support to continue providing critical support to children and young people.

£40 will enable us to deliver a starter session with a child or young person to establish their emotional needs, that can be safely explored and discussed, and put an individual plan in place.

£300 will enable us to deliver 6 group targeted sessions to children and mothers

Find out how to sponsor a child today by emailing enquiries@broxtowewp.org , or you can donate now by following this link https://broxtowewomensproject.org.uk/donate

Every penny counts towards saving the lives of women, children and young people affected by domestic abuse.

By Alice Bates, Development Officer at BWP

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