help for children
If your children have been affected by domestic abuse, we know that their safety and wellbeing is one of your greatest concerns. Here at My CWA, we offer a whole family service, so we support children and young people affected by domestic abuse as well as their parents.
“What about the kids?”
Lots of people stay with their abusers “for the sake of the kids.” But your children are at greater risk of both physical and emotional abuse for as long as you remain in an abusive relationship. To put it another way, leaving your abuser gives your kids a better chance of a bright and happy future.
“The children are fine – he’s a great dad…”
Remember that most kids will be aware that abuse is happening even if you think they’re not – even if it’s not directed at them. They pick up on tension, they hear raised voices, they sense conflict and they see bruises.
Being a “great dad” isn’t just about taking the kids to the park or making them laugh. A great dad treats his partner with respect. A great dad shows his children that safe, loving, healthy relationships are built on kindness, trust and mutual respect.
Abusers are not great dads. They are frightening and they are damaging. They teach children that abuse is normal. We can help your children come to terms with the abuse they’ve experienced. We can help them understand their feelings. We can help you move towards that bright and happy future together.
Support for children and young people
There are several ways we can support children and young people affected by domestic abuse. As well as parenting advice and support for adults, we offer one-to-one support for children living in crisis accommodation, a crèche facility at our Lily Jones Support Centre and recovery programmes specially designed for children and young people. These include:
A recovery programme aimed at children who have lived in a situation of domestic abuse but who are now living in a safe environment (refuge or new home with non-abusing parent).
Acorns and Changing Places
Therapeutic programmes that offer children and young people alternatives to the violent behaviours they have witnessed at home. Aimed at children who demonstrate aggressive and controlling behaviours, these programmes help break the cycle of abuse by providing children and young people with tools to manage feelings and frustrations.
For young people (aged 12–21) who need help managing conflict in their relationship with their parents or other primary caregivers.
There are lots of ways that children can be affected by domestic abuse and lots of signs and symptoms to suggest that they’re struggling to cope.
These range from mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and self-harm; to behavioural problems such as anger, aggression and anti-social behaviour; to physiological symptoms such as migraines, eczema and bed wetting.
The good news is that with the right support, most children are able to move on from the effects of witnessing domestic abuse so they can live happy and fulfilling lives.
Call our 24-hour hotline on 0300 123 5101 (or 01270 250390 if you’re outside Cheshire East) or get in touch via our contact page if you’re worried about how your children are coping with the effects of domestic abuse. Remember, we’re here to help.