About 75% of the women in our refuges have children and many of them are under school age.Children who have lived with domestic abuse respond in different ways, but they will almost certainly feel frightened and confused.
Children often blame themselves for what has happened and may become withdrawn and anxious. They may have also felt that they couldn’t tell anyone about what was happening at home whilst living through the abuse.
We believe that no child should have to live with domestic abuse, and refuge provides a place of safety for parents and their children to escape abuse.
We have a small team of specially trained children’s workers in refuge, working alongside adult support workers, who work directly with children to overcome the trauma of witnessing or experiencing domestic abuse. They provide a therapeutic space for children and young people to process their feelings and express their opinions in an age-appropriate way, often through play. This helps children and young people make sense of what has happened and allows them to build resilience so that they can deal with future adversity.
Children are helped to feel safe and secure in our refuges and can also develop new social skills and make new friendships with other children whilst staying in refuge.
Our practitioners use a trauma informed approach to work holistically with families and help them to create blocks for building a new life, free from abuse and violence.
“I was happy because I felt more safer, because where we were before there were lots of people fighting”.
IDAS is the largest specialist charity in Yorkshire supporting people affected by domestic abuse and sexual violence.