Counselling Children and Young People
Talking about Domestic Abuse is an excellent resource for working with children from approximately nine years to adolescents who have experienced domestic abuse. The main focus of the activities is to develop a safe, accepting environment where young people and their mothers can tell their stories, explore concerns, share triumphs and discover their uniqueness, enabling them to move forward together. Both books would be essential tolls for practitioners working with children and young people whose families have experienced domestic abuse. They are clearly written and illustrated in an engaging style that grasps the readers' attention. They also deepen the understanding of how and why a creative approach with children can work in the healing process.
Developed for use with mothers and young people who have experienced domestic violence, this is a very useful book. It has a good section on the type of experiences people may have had and how this might impact on them, which is likely to be helpful to mothers wanting to start doing this work with their children... The book is designed to be used with children from 9 years old to adolescence and might be too simplistic a format for older children. However, the activities would give parents helpful suggestions about ways to talk with older children too.
Mother: "I found the book useful in gaining an understanding of what my children felt was good about living in our new home in comparison to when we were in refuge a year ago without having to ask the question so directly". Children: "The pages were fun and it was good to colour in with Mum and my sisters. Mum didn't know how much I liked sleeping in bunk-beds". Student Social Worker: "This resource gave the children I worked with a safe environment to explore their past experiences, display their emotions and empower them to recognise that their voices need to be heard so that the healing process can begin" My views: "How refreshing to work with families by addressing how domestic abuse has and can affect the family unit with an activity resource that is both user friendly and child-focused. The book has equipped families with an approach for tackling a delicate issue and its effect on the family in a way that is empowering, open and honest and allows them to move forward positively".
I believe that anything which helps to encourage children to talk about their experiences should be welcomed, and this book sets out clearly the rules and tips for getting started. Domestic abuse is rife in our society and as any professional knows it is often hidden behind closed doors. Even today there is still some shame attached to admitting there is domestic violence at home- the secrecy adds an intolerable burden on all family members. The activities in this workbook were developed with the help of mothers and young people who have lived with domestic abuse.