Children in the refuge
There is a Child Development Worker at the Refuge who offers support and guidance to children and young people who arrive with their mother/guardian.
The Child Development Worker will help to arrange a school or nursery place for any children that come to the refuge.
Each week there are planned activities which are specific to the age of the children in the Activity Zone which is part of the refuge. Trips and outings will also be arranged during school holidays.
Helping Hands is for children that are not in the refuge, but would benefit from some help.The group is run by Aylesbury Women’s Aid and is for children who have witnessed / experienced domestic violence but who are now living in safe and settled accommodation away from the perpetrator.
The programme runs for 6 weeks and the group will consist of a maximum of 8 children aged 5 – 11 years. The programme includes helping children to explore and express their feelings and encourages them to ask for support when needed.
Groups are usually held in school settings but may also be run in the community.
Support will be offered to the non abusing parent to ensure that they are another source of support for their children and also enable them to deal with any issues that may arise from the process.
One to One Support and Advocacy
We offer one to one support and advocacy for young people (for both young women and men) aged 11 to 17, providing emotional and practical support for those who have experience domestic violence in their household, or directly in their own intimate relationships.
One-hour sessions are offered, usually over a six-week period. Based on individual needs, the sessions may include risk assessments, safety and support planning, referral and signposting to specialist agencies and advocacy and support at professional meetings or through legal processes.
Expect Respect Programme
The Expect Respect Programme is a healthy relationship programme for young people (both young women and men) aged between 11 to 13. It is delivered in one-hour sessions over a five-week period and is suitable for small or large groups.
The programme is based on the Women’s Aid ‘Expect Respect’ Toolkit and challenges assumptions about gender, power and equality. It promotes the message that abuse is not acceptable and helps young people to understand the difference between abusive and non-abusive behaviour. It will support young people to manage feelings, as well as accepting responsibility for one’s own feelings and behaviour. It provides information on peer support and where young people can get help.
AWAre - Aylesbury Women’s Aid Relationship Empowerment is a programme for young women aged between 13 and 17 years of age. The programme allows young women the opportunity to explore what an abusive relationship is and how to protect themselves by recognising abusive behaviours.
The programme runs for 5 weeks and will consist of a minimum of 6 and a maximium of 12 young women. The AWAre programme uses aspects of the "Expect Respect" toolkit and is very interactive. It will explore issues such as boundaries, conflict, gender stereotypes, attitudes and beliefs and control versus love. It aims to boost confidence and self esteem and empower young women to help to strengthen understandings of their own rights in relationships
Services for Professionals
We can also offer one off workshops for young people in schools, on healthy relationships and domestic violence. They can be adapted to suit the needs of the school and the students.
These workshops allow schools and colleges a way of evidencing that they are building resilience amongst young people, in accordance with the principles established by the Children's Act 1989 and 2004, and the Education Act 2002, including the responsibility under Section 157 to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
We can also offer workshops to teachers and other professionals on domestic violence awareness and the effects on children and young people.
Children and Domestic Violence
Children and young people can find out more about domestic violence at www.thehideout.org.uk The Hideout is a national website for children and young people to inform about domestic violence and to help them identify if it is happening in their home.
Violence at the home can have an enormous impact on children and young people, whether as witnesses of parental violence or because of the increased risks of direct abuse to children themselves. Adults and children have a right to live free of fear and abuse.
Children are completely dependent upon the adults around them to ensure they are provided with the right environment to grow up into happy, healthy adults. If they do not feel safe in their own home, whether because of violence or for fear of being abused themselves, this can have many negative physical and emotional effects.
Asking for help is never easy. You may feel you will be blamed for failing as a parent, fear your children will be taken from you or even feel you are failing just by asking for help. You are never to blame if someone is abusing either you or your children and violence in the home can be an offence.
You may believe that it is best for your children to remain with your husband or partner and keep the family together, despite the presence of mental abuse, violence and fear. However children will feel more secure with one parent in a stable environment than two parents in an unstable one.
It is frequently underestimated how much even very young children can be aware of the violence, and of the long term damaging effects on children and young people.