• Ross-Shire Women's Aid

"My dad doesn’t like children" - Boy, aged 10

This post talks about domestic abuse and may be triggering for some people.

Illustration: UN Women

Violence against women is a major public health concern and a violation of women’s human rights. This also impacts on children within the home who will too be experiencing the abuse. Domestic abuse can affect children emotionally, physically, mentally, and socially.

"He manipulated me into thinking my mum was always doing things wrong. I realise this is completely wrong now, but he turned me against her when I was younger." Girl, aged 15

Often children will feel that their voice is not heard and may not matter. This then can develop into poor self-esteem, anxiety, anger, and/or behavioural problems.

"My dad wasn’t nice to me or my family. He shouted at us a lot. It's not good when dads hurt mums or their children. I watched EastEnders and a lady called Chantelle was killed by her husband. He was horrible as well." Girl, aged 10

Dingwall Academy YPI (Youth Philanthropy Initiative) 2020 demonstrates youth voices on Domestic Abuse in the following video.

At Ross-shire Women’s Aid, Children Workers provide individualised, therapeutic support to these children and young people by:

  • Building self-esteem

  • Creating safety plans

  • Providing techniques for dealing with anger

  • Delivering information about domestic abuse

  • Explaining the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships

  • Providing non-judgmental, confidential support

The children and young people within our service are valued and often build up a good relationship with their key worker. Their key worker can also advocate on the child’s behalf and liaise with other professionals if required. The child is always reminded that the abuse they experienced was not their fault.

"He was a bad man, and he isn’t in my family anymore. We got away from home and he does not know where we are. I’m happy he can’t find me." Boy, aged 4

Ross-Shire Women's Aid provides support to children and young people who have experienced domestic abuse. Domestic abuse affects 1 in 4 women, so you are not alone. It is not your fault – the person who abuses you is responsible. If you would like to support the work of Ross-Shire Women's Aid, you can make a donation via their website: https://www.rosswa.co.uk/how-you-can-help/donating/

Disclaimer: the views expressed in this post are those of the respective author and are not necessarily shared by the #ChangeHerStory Campaign partners.

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