Spotlight on children in first for domestic abuse training 

News / Fri 29th Sep 2023 at 09:17am

A FIRST of its kind training course aimed at professionals has been created to plug a gap in training on the subject of domestic abuse on children and how best to support them. 

Safer Places CIC, an extension of Safer Places domestic abuse charity based in Essex and Hertfordshire, has developed bespoke training that focuses on the needs of child survivors of domestic abuse.  

As part of recent changes, child survivors are now classed as victims of domestic abuse in their own right, regardless of if they are present at violent incidents. 

Due to this being a recent development, there is currently a lack of training provision for professionals who work with children and young people – something the Domestic Abuse Commissioner, Nicole Jacobs, referenced in her report on the Family Court released last month.  

Janet Dalrymple, Chief Executive of Safer Places, said: “We’re incredibly proud to be blazing the way forward to education and awareness of child victims of domestic abuse. It’s important we see child survivors as victims in themselves, not simply an addition to a parent that’s being supported. It is crucial that support services get it right when providing support.  

“Our training course aims to give confidence and knowledge to professionals, so no child survivor feels alone when experiencing or witnessing abuse.” 

Within the course, professionals are taught about the rights and laws protection children, the effect of abuse on children’s development, multi-agency working and the unique experiences of children, to name just a few areas. 

Aleks Tokarz-Tyler, creator of the training course, said: “We felt that – despite the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 recognising children as victims in their own right – they still don’t have equal chances in recovering from their experiences. They are often ‘invisible’ and, together with their non-abusive parent, they are forced to ‘put up’ with post-separation abuse.  

“Often, victims and survivors will meet with minimisation or even denial of their experiences from agencies, professionals and wider society. If domestic abuse organisations don’t truly recognise abuse and the pain it causes, we are unable to offer successful support.” 

Details to the course can be found on the Safer Places website at saferplaces.co.uk  

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