Support for children who do not feel safe

For children experiencing domestic abuse, home is not a safe space and Scottish Women’s Aid (SWA) has been working during the Covid-19 pandemic to ensure that the needs of children impacted by abuse are not overlooked in responses to the crisis.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 29th May 2020, 8:30 am

As part of this work SWA has launched a new animation highlighting children’s experiences of domestic abuse and encouraging them to reach out to NSPCC’s Childline for support if they want to talk about what’s going on.

SWA’s young expert group (YELLO!) created the story, working in partnership with Media Co-op.

The children and young people involved have all experienced domestic abuse in their own lives and they brought their expertise to every part of the creative process, building a powerful animation which reflects directly on their own experiences.

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While measures to ease lockdown in Scotland are underway, for many children experiencing domestic abuse the reality will still be that they have little access to nurseries, schools and other safe community spaces where where they can see trusted adults outside of their family. For them, staying home and staying safe is not possible when home is where the abuse is.

Susie Dalton, Children and Young People’s Policy Officer at SWA, said: “The powerful animation launched comes at a key time as children experiencing domestic abuse have now had no freedom outside of the home for months.

“It is vital that we let them know that there is someone there to listen to them and support them if home does not feel like a safe place for them just now.

“We are continuing to call on the Scottish Government to take action to ensure that children experiencing domestic abuse are among those granted spaces in school hubs around the country – the needs of these children and young people must not be ignored.”

Shaun Friel, Head of Childline, said: “It is so important that these children have somewhere to turn for help. Our counsellors are there to listen, provide support and guide them to make decisions that are right for them. Childline also has a huge online community where children can get support from their peers.”