All professionals working with children and young people can create an environment which promotes both their belief in and commitment to the fact that domestic abuse is not acceptable, and that they are willing to discuss and challenge it.
Each child is different, and their experiences are different, and the way they cope is different. Finding out what children and young people may need from us is an important first step, as it may be very different to what we think they might need.
Giving children and young people this agency to share what they want and need from us is, in itself, a way in which they can regain some power, at a very difficult point in their life. It’s vital that a one size fits all approach is not used when trying to support children and young people experiencing domestic abuse at home or in their own relationships.
Children and young people have agency and know the situations they are in better than us; they should have their views respected and should be listened to. The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 now recognises children as victims of domestic abuse in their own right when witnessing domestic abuse in the home, therefore they must be provided with sufficient support.
If a child has disclosed domestic abuse to you, or you are worried that they may be experiencing domestic abuse, it is vital to assess the situation to determine if the child or young person is in immediate danger. If they are in immediate danger, call 999 immediately.
If you are concerned about the child’s safety and wellbeing but do not believe the child is in immediate danger or at risk of being in immediate danger, please follow the safeguarding protocol of the educational setting the child is registered with (e.g. a nursery, school, or college) by alerting the Designated Safeguarding Lead. The NSPCC can also provide advice for adults who are worried about a child. Tel: 0808 800 5000 (24 hours) Website: www.nspcc.org.uk