Support for kids and young people affected by family violence.

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The sad fact is that children are often society’s most vulnerable demographic when it comes to family and domestic violence. They grow up surrounded by unpredictability, anxiety, fear, and a sense of powerlessness. This can lead to significant emotional, physical, social and behavioural damage. In this article, we outline a few of the potential effects of family violence and list a number of services that can help kids in need.

 

How children are affected by domestic and family violence.

According to Family & Community Services, the effects of family violence on children and young people can be broadly categorised by age. These include:

In utero: potential for physical injury in the womb due to violence aimed at the mother, or exposure to drugs or alcohol if the mother uses these to cope with her home situation.

Infants: babies may suffer failure to thrive, or find it hard to develop attachments to their caregivers.

Toddlers and pre-schoolers: development may be delayed, plus they can suffer from eating and sleeping problems.

School-aged children: relationships with peers may be a struggle, academic performance may be negatively impacted, may suffer emotional instability.

Teenagers: may be more likely to abuse substances, perpetrate crime or become a victim of dating violence.

 

Where to turn if you’re in immediate danger from family and domestic violence.

·         Contact the Police on 000, or

·         Go to the nearest hospital emergency department. If you’re not sure where that is, Ask Izzy is a great search tool.

 

Where to turn for counselling and advice.

There are a number of places to call if you need to talk to someone. Here are just a few free, 24/7 services to get you started.

 Kids Helpline – counselling and support for people aged 5 to 25.

1800 55 1800

 Lifeline - counselling and support for people of all ages.

13 11 14

 Suicide Call Back Service – service for people 15 years and above.

1300 659 467

Cheryl Fitzell