Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Living without violence Supporting children who have experienced domestic abuse NSPCC and Women’s Aid.

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "Living without violence Supporting children who have experienced domestic abuse NSPCC and Women’s Aid."— Presentation transcript:

1 Living without violence Supporting children who have experienced domestic abuse NSPCC and Women’s Aid

2 The problem Domestic violence is extremely common 1.2 million women a year; two women a week are killed by a partner or former partner. It is recognised as a gendered crime Research shows that while both men and women can be violent, the severity, extent and impact is different Women are much more likely to be physically harmed and report greater levels of fear Men experience far fewer incidents of violence & impact is much less. Men much more likely to say incidents are not worth reporting It is overwhelmingly women who experience a pattern of violence over longer periods that can include physical and sexual violence, psychological, and financial violence by a current or former partner – coercive control. 2

3 Context – victims’ experiences 76% of all domestic violence incidents are repeat incidents (British Crime Survey 2009/2010) Women have experienced an average of more than 30 incidents of abuse before reporting Women are afraid of reporting to the police – with good reason The threat that children will be taken into care is a major influence on women’s behaviour, is realistic, and is frequently used by perpetrators The most dangerous times for victims are when they leave or have just left the abusive relationship 35% of the children in refuges who had been abused (and 29% in non- refuge services) were still in contact with the perpetrator. 3

4 Domestic abuse and child protection Children exposed to domestic abuse are at risk of serious harm. The wide ranging physical, emotional, psychological and social impacts are evidenced by a large and expanding body of research literature. Exposure to domestic violence is commonly related to child protection concerns: It is a factor in two thirds of serious case reviews It is a factor in 60% of cases that lead to care applications An estimated 75% of children subject to child protection plans are living with domestic abuse. It is clear that responses to domestic abuse need to be at the core of work to safeguard and protect children. 4

5 Impact on long term development Exposure to domestic abuse can have a profound impact on a child’s developing brain, sense of self and capacity for regulating emotions Exposure to domestic abuse correlates with insecure & disorganised attachment, delinquency & a trajectory for dysfunction in adulthood Resilience amongst children is associated with secure attachment to a non-violent parent or other significant carer, strong support networks, high levels of self-esteem and the capacity to be reflective The potential for breaking a sense of intergenerational abuse is underscored by the fact that the majority people who grow up in violent households go on to have healthy adult relationships Far from contributing to a sense of fatalism, the evidence base raises questions about what can be done to help more children from suffering long term harm and avoid re-enacting violent dynamics later in life. 5

6 Matching the scale of the challenge Widespread recognition of the harm suffered by children exposed to domestic abuse does not adequately filter through to policy or practice in the form of a satisfactory support offer There is an inadequate supply of dedicated support services for children exposed to domestic abuse There are specific gaps for those highly vulnerable children who live in households where a perpetrator continues to be present The evidence base relating to the effectiveness of many of the specialist children’s services which do exist is limited Too often our response is only to “monitor” rather than support. 6

7 Challenges with the current response Services that could intervene early are doing so in the wrong way because they don't understand the dynamics of DV Family courts are working on the basis that there is an inherent bias against fathers. There is a lot of evidence that this is not the case Risk paradigm underlying the whole system is not working as demonstrated by the extremely low correlation between who are murdered and referral to MARAC Commissioners in local authorities don’t look at the “big picture” and links between different aspects of service provision Children's services have seen the most severe cuts of all. 7

8 Support is not consistent across England 8 9,577 women and 10,117 children were supported during the year through refuge accommodation Over 82,000 women and 14,000 children were supported during the year in non-refuge services. The range of service provision varies: Around 180 domestic violence services have funding for dedicated staff to support children and young people Other services provide support, but may not have a dedicated worker Some areas of the country have no funding for refuge services.

9 A range of support needs 9 Housing Safety Financial Education Health Legal VICTIMS

10 Specialist domestic violence children’s services Support includes: Specialist refuge provision and outreach programmes Helping children come to terms with their experience of violence Addressing child protection issues Helping children access health care and mental health services Parallel working with the non-abusing parent Liaison with schools/ moving schools Providing a safe environment for play, recovery and development. Women’s Aid train practitioners in any service to run: A domestic violence specific parenting programme which is fully evaluated (You and Me Mum) A programme specifically for child survivors (Helping Hands). 10


12 What needs to be done Intervention in DV needs to be about creating the massive culture change essential for women to come forward and report abuse earlier Need a paradigm shift to a needs led approach coupled with a flexible risk assessment responsive to coercive control Avoid reinventing the wheel. There is a history of excellent work with children in refuges and other specialist DV services Need for prevention, early intervention, and, when needed crisis intervention Holistic responses - crisis and longer term support including counselling, advice, group work, child Supporting and protect the mother is frequently the most effective way of improving the safety of the child. 12

13 Time for a re-think? 13

14 Developing an evidence base 14 DART: A group work programme for mothers and their children, focused on strengthening the care-giving relationship Caring Dads: A fathering programme, helping fathers understand the nature of abuse and its impact on children

15 Intervention and support can make a difference Our evaluation of DART showed: Mothers: Increases in Self esteem, confidence in parenting, felt more affectionate & less rejecting Children: Fewer emotional and behavioural difficulties, felt mothers were more affectionate & less rejecting 15 With Caring Dads we saw: Fathers: On average found being a parent less stressful after programme. They were interacting better with children Partners and children: Depression and anxiety reduced. Most mothers said some of the abuse reduced

16 Current nature of support and intervention Majority of current models are based on the Duluth model There are concern about the safety and ethics of including violent men in interventions Split services: gender specific interventions with a clear focus on the victim or perpetrator. Often exclude the male perpetrator and child(!) Lack of evidence re outcomes, yet known high recidivism rates Often a greater focus on “assessment of risk” rather than intervention Lack of family based interventions No clear focus on “prevention” of violence, with limited services for those not convicted of offence Ofsted/SCR reports highlighting lack of engagement with fathers. 16

17 Need for range of interventions Building on what we already have, we also need: Family based programmes or services that work on the dyadic relationships within violent families Interventions for families where both parents are violent or where there are violent mothers Home based intervention services Focus on intervention and change within families Focus on pregnancy and early childhood – age specific services Programmes that target domestic abuse, addiction and mental ill-health Early preventative work with adolescents on the nature of relationships. 17

18 Family based intervention perpetrator Need for victim integrated child approach

19 Relational approach Research suggests that domestic abuse is not simply the result of social learning and societal models of male domination (Duluth model) but that pre-disposition / risk starts in the womb (epigenetics and compromised brain development)… is then nurtured within abusive and neglectful relationships (attachment)… is hardwired into the child’s brain / nervous system (trauma)… starts to manifest in early childhood behavioural problems (in the context of family, school, peer and community relationships) and is then reenacted in intimate (attachment) relationships with adult partners… is enacted upon and in front of children… 19

20 A whole system ecological approach (higher risk)

21 Time for more nuanced approach? Based on the premise that: Children form relationships with their carers “Programmed” to form attachment relationships from birth At its heart, domestic abuse disrupts these attachments Seeks to prevent the intergenerational transmission of abuse Home based intervention programme working with families pre- separation 21

22 Thank You 22

Download ppt "Living without violence Supporting children who have experienced domestic abuse NSPCC and Women’s Aid."

Similar presentations

Ads by Google