Helping Bedfordshire teenagers overcome the trauma of domestic abuse
Maisie (14)* and her brother Jack (11)* from Bedfordshire have felt like they’ve been piggy in the middle of their parents’ abusive relationship.
Two years ago, their parents split up because of their dad’s violent behaviour towards their mum. The abuse was having a lasting effect on them and their mental health. Neither of them felt their voices were being heard. No one seemed to understand the trauma they were suffering because of the emotional and physical abuse they had witnessed.
That was until they were referred to Embrace Child Victims of Crime for support.
The teenagers were both given a support worker known as a KIDVA who is specially trained to help children who have been victims or witnesses to domestic abuse.
Through individual one-to-one sessions with Maisie and Jack, the KIDVA listened to their fears, helped them understand and work through their feelings and took on the role as their advocate with other professionals, enabling them to safely share information about their experiences that they hadn’t spoken out about before.
The KIDVA also helped Maisie and Jack rebuild their relationship with each other and gave them tools to help them keep themselves safe and understand what healthy relationships should look and feel like.
Since completing their support sessions both children have said they feel safer and their home life has improved significantly.
Last year, Embrace Child Victims of Crime supported 1,215 children and families in Bedfordshire to overcome the trauma cause by crime.
The charity provides emotional and practical support to help victims and witnesses of crime rebuild their confidence, self esteem and get their lives back on track.
To find out more visit www.embracecvoc.org.uk or call the helpline on 0345 60 999 60 between 10am and 4pm Monday to Friday.
Young people can also follow @chat2embrace on Instagram and DM the team if they want to refer themselves for support.
*Names and ages have been changed to protect their identity.