Sandwell Women's Aid
Black Country Women's Aid supports victims of domestic and sexual violence, they provide provision of refuge accommodation and specialist support. Please call 0121 553 0090 or visit Black Country Women's Aid.
The Effects of Domestic Abuse for Children
Just as every child's experience of domestic abuse is different, every child will be affected differently. Domestic abuse can impact upon all areas of children and young people's live including health, education, the development of relationships, recreation and social activities. The effects of domestic violence on children are wide ranging and will differ for each child or young person. Effects can include:
- Feelings of fear, shame or anger
- Underachieving (or overachieving) in school
- Difficulties sleeping and nightmares
- Distracted behaviour
- Outbursts or temper and aggression
- Regressive behaviour such as thumb sucking, bed wetting etc
- Reluctance to eat
- Complaints of tummy pain or pain in other parts of the body
- Low esteem and confidence
- Reluctance to engage in social activities
- Self harm
Some things to say to your child:
- It's not your fault
- You can always tell me how you feel
- I will listen to you
- You have the right to feel safe
- There is nothing you could have done to prevent or change it
- I care about you, you are important to me
- We can think of ways to keep you safe in the future.
It is because of this that all staff in school need to have a clear understanding of what to do if they think a child might be abused or neglected and what happens if a parent is suspected of abusing a child.
Before staff report any suspected abuse, parents/carers will normally be contacted beforehand to share our intention to report the concerns. However, this contact with parents/carers is not always appropriate. For example, if the child may be placed at an increased risk of significant harm, then the call will not take place. Staff in school will always follow the direction and advice of Sandwell Children’s Trust when deciding to contact parents.
If we think that a child in our care might have been neglected or abused, we have a duty to report it to The Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH). Once reported, Agencies based at the MASH will securely collate information within the MASH from all available sources to make an informed decision concerning any required intervention.
Hateley Heath Academy School is part of Sandwell's Operation Encompass. This is the early reporting to school when a child has been exposed to domestic violence or domestic abuse. School can then monitor the child and provide support if necessary. If you are a victim of domestic abuse or domestic violence or know someone who is, school can provide a wide range of support. Speak to the safeguarding team for further information. Please click the Operation Encompass link to find out more.