Living in an abusive household

Living in an abusive household

In the UK over 1 million children and young people witness or are directly subject to domestic abuse every year.

Adults often believe they are protecting their children from what is happening and many think that if children are not actually in the room when violence or abuse is happening, they won’t be impacted. However, even children who are not directly abused themselves are aware of a lot more than adults think. Living with abuse can be terrifying for a child and in the long term can affect everything from how they feel, how they act at school and how they behave in their own relationships.

Our support

IDAS provides specialist support for children and young people between 10 and 18 years who are impacted by living with domestic abuse.

Our children’s workers liaise closely with all agencies; supporting the family to coordinate a plan of support that places the child’s safety and wellbeing at the centre. They can work with children and young people both on a 1:1 basis or in a group setting, in the child’s home, school or other community setting. Every child has their own support plan based on their individual needs and practitioners use a range of creative and age – appropriate interventions to engage with children and young people, including talking, play and music therapies that encourage children to express their feelings and emotions and help them make sense of what has happened.

As well as direct support of children, we also support the non-abusive parent and other family members in households where that has been domestic violence. By supporting whole families, we can help them overcome trauma and to develop the skills and resilience to deal with future adversity. A strong emotional attachment with a safe parent is an important protective factor for children and young people, so our support, which builds on the family’s strengths and resources, focuses on helping to strengthen the child-parent relationship.