For most children, home is a place filled with love, security and the comfort of family. Sadly, for one in five children under the age of 18 in the UK, the routine and stability of their home is replaced by the fear and vulnerability of domestic abuse. Your Sanctuary supports children who have been affected by Domestic Abuse through creative and relational 1:1 support and programmes like our Domestic Abuse Recovery Programme. We offer them a safe space in which to recover from their trauma.
The trauma of living with domestic abuse often leaves children frightened, lacking in confidence, confused & angry. They can struggle at school and socially. If they do not receive the right support the effects can last well into adulthood. According to the Royal College of Psychiatrists, some of these effects include: become anxious or depressed, difficulty sleeping, behave much younger than they are or may become aggressive or they may internalise their distress and withdraw from other people.
Your Sanctuary runs a Domestic Abuse Recovery Programme for children to share and talk about their experiences. The programme involves a series of sessions for children which run for 2 hours a week over a 12 week period. The programme addresses core issues like validation of the children's experiences, reducing self-blame and managing expressions of emotion. Mothers also have sessions to learn how the abuse has impacted their child and how best to help them through the healing process.
Children who have been through our programme, feel able to express their fears and worries, are empowered and perhaps most important of all, understand that the abuse that took place was not their fault. One of the boys in the current programme recently said he didn't want it to end as he had made new friends who had experienced similar difficult experiences and looked forward to attending every week. Mothers & children are also able to receive 1:1 support in the future from our outreach team.