Children and young people will always be affected by domestic abuse to some extent and will often display signs of anxiety, anger or loss of self esteem as a result of the abuse they hear and witness. More information on help and support, staying safe and relationship abuse can be found below.
Help and Support for Children and Young People
There are a number of websites and helplines that support children and young people who are affected by domestic abuse. The main ones are outlined below:
The Hideout. The Hideout has sections for both children and young people, within which there is information on domestic abuse as well as advice on what to do. Helplines are detailed and there are a number of sections including Your Stories, Teenspeak, Virtual Refuge and Graffiti Wall. Visit The Hideout.
Childline. Childline is a free and confidential helpline for children and young people who need to talk to someone. The helpline number is 0800 1111; more information is available on the main website at Childline. Within the website there is also a section on domestic violence at Domestic Violence.
Female Genital Mutilation. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is illegal. It is also illegal to take a British national or permanent resident abroad for FGM, or to help someone who is trying to do this. For more information go to:
- FGM, or the NSPCC links detailed below:
- NSPCC – FGM Helpline – 0800 028 3550, or by e-mail email@example.com
- NSPCC – FGM Factsheet FGM Factsheet
Help and Advice for Adults and Parents
Any incident of domestic abuse where a child is present, or where the woman is pregnant, should be reported immediately to the Local Authority Children’s Social Care Services at county level to ensure the children’s safety.
If you are worried about a child or need advice you can also contact the NSPCC help line at any time – 0808 800 5000. More information is also available here.
Additional information and support to parents is detailed below:
- Parenting during and after domestic violence and abuse
- Talking to children about domestic violence and abuse
- The Hideout (section for adults)
Children – Staying Safe
It is important that children and young people who are experiencing domestic abuse stay safe. The advice given below from The Hideout will help with this. Information is also available within the leaflet – Domestic Abuse, Information for children and young people following a call from the police about an incident at your home.
How To Stay Safe
If there’s violence in your home, it’s important that you stay safe when there’s a fight. Sometimes you might feel like you have to stop the fight and protect the parent who’s being hurt. This can be very dangerous and puts you at risk of getting hurt yourself.
If you are scared when there is a fight, you can always call 999 and ask for the police – they will come to your house at any time of the day.
It’s helpful if you can tell a friend or grown-up you trust about the abuse at home. This way, if there’s an emergency you can phone them and they’ll know about what’s going on in your home.
At any time, the person who’s being abused can get help from support services in their local area. They can help you and the person who’s being hurt to stay safe. Call the Freephone 24 Hour National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247 (run in partnership between Women’s Aid and Refuge) to find out what services there are near to where you live.
Some areas also have education programmes for abusive people who want to change their behaviour and stop being abusive.
If your mum is being abused and it is too dangerous to stay at home, you and your brothers and sisters can go with her to a refuge. A refuge is a safe house where you can go to escape abuse at home. Refuges are normally for women and their children. You will stay in the refuge until things can be sorted for you and your family to go back home safely or find a new home.
Being in a relationship can make you feel great, but if you are with someone who makes you feel scared, humiliated, isolated or forced into doing things you don’t want to, this could be relationship abuse. Additional information and support are outlined at the two links below: