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16 Days of Activism – Day Three

Shining a light on services 

Children and Young People 

I work as a Children & Young People’s Practitioner at one of Changing Pathways refuges. My day starts at 9am where a complete a first assessment with a new family that have moved into the refuge. Mum and I sit together and discuss the child: their likes and dislikes; their routine and their behaviour. Mum was confident in the session to talk to me about her concerns and what her child had been subjected to living in a family environment with domestic abuse. Mum had observed her child becoming increasingly withdrawn and had start to report nightmares.

In the afternoon, I meet with her child and tell them about the work that we will be doing together when we meet together each week. The programme of work that I complete with the children includes dealing with different emotions, worries and how to set boundaries. The child tells me that he is happy to meet with my every week in our special playroom.

Domestic abuse has a devastating impact on children. This can include:

  • Becoming anxious or depressed
  • Difficulty sleeping, nightmares or flashbacks
  • Problems with managing the pressures of school
  • Displaying aggressive or distressing behaviour
  • Lowered self-worth

Children and young people do cope with and survive the abuse they are subjected to, displaying extraordinary resilience. However, domestic abuse does represent one of the most serious risks to children and young people in our society. At Changing Pathways, we believe that no child should have to live with violence and fear. We work to protect the children and support them to build safer, happier lives.

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