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"My eyes stay awake at night." -Kate
"The bad noises come when I'm asleep." -Luca
There is a growing body of research clearly showing that children exposed to domestic abuse have similar longterm effects to children who are direct targets of physical abuse. Yet there are almost no services available to these children.
KIDshine aims to fill this gap by directly assisting these children to help keep them safe in the short term, and to minimise their negative longterm problems resulting from exposure to domestic abuse.
KIDshine is a free, structured and practical intervention service for children who witness domestic abuse, that is offered to families in their homes and at times convenient to them.
Since 2003, KIDshine has helped thousands of children to stay safe and heal from domestic abuse. Most children who’ve had KIDshine have, as a result, felt safer, more confident, more able to talk to the protective parent (usually, but not always, the mother) about the violence they’ve witnessed, and have fewer behavioural problems.
How KIDshine helps children
- We give children ways to protect themselves by helping them develop an age-appropriate safety plan
- We help them understand what is happening and that they are not to blame for the violence
- We help the protective parent -- usually the mother -- by letting them know how the violence is impacting on their children, and by teaching them parenting strategies to help their children cope.
The reality is we cannot always immediately stop the violence from happening, but we can help children to remain safe if there are further incidents in their homes, and help them understand that the violence is not their fault.
"I know what to do now if I'm scared, I know how to ring the Police and I know that it's not my fault."
"Thank you. I never thought the fighting or arguing affected them or that they saw what was happening. They wouldn't have told me and would have always wondered whether they were to blame." – KIDshine mother
- 75% of KIDshine children were exposed to episodes of extreme violence and the same percentage had actively tried to intervene.
- In 66% of KIDshine cases, the parents had separated, but mothers who were the adult victims and children were still being subjected to violence.
As a result of KIDshine:
- 90% of children aged 4 and older understand that the violence is not their fault
- 93% of children aged 4 and older were able to repeat their safety plan at the final follow up visit done 2-3 months after the first 3 weekly visits, and many had had to use their safety plan during that time
- 84% of caregivers (mostly mothers) stated that their children’s well-being improved following the KIDshine service
“I feel good that I know if something happens, I can go to my friend’s house. I talk to mum more about what might happen if dad comes to our house.” 11-year-old KIDshine client
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