As many as 75 local children and young people across the North West, who have been the victims of violence and domestic abuse will be helped thanks to a grant of £70,000 to the Trafford Domestic Abuse Service (TDAS) from Cheshire and West Lancashire Freemasons.
The charity is currently increasing their refuge provision and will be helping a total of 75 children and 39 mothers. They will offer direct support to mothers and children who have been victims of domestic abuse. TDAS are developing a programme of support for mothers, allowing them to develop their understanding of their child’s behaviour and experiences, helping them strengthen the bond with their children.
Children who have experienced domestic abuse can be affected in the same way as adults. They can live in fear of the abuse, develop anxiety, eating disorders, self-harm, have low self-esteem and become withdrawn. Research shows that 62% of children living with domestic abuse are directly harmed by the perpetrator of the abuse, in addition to the harm caused by experiencing the abuse of others. Therefore, children may be suffering from the effects of physical and psychological abuse perpetrated to them at the hands of the abusive adult living in their home.
These children will be provided with a minimum eight weeks of support to explore their own experience of domestic abuse, helping them to become emotionally aware and find coping strategies for anxiety, anger and traumatic life events. They will also be supported to keep safe with individualised safety plans, helping them develop a greater understanding of risk and how to keep themselves physically and emotionally safe. More than nine out of 10 children and young people who are given this kind of support report a significant improvement in their confidence and self-esteem, better family relationships and a reduction in feelings of isolation.
The grant from Cheshire and West Lancashire Freemasons comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales. Samantha Fisher, Chief Executive Officer of Trafford Domestic Abuse Service, said: “We’re very grateful to Cheshire and West Lancashire Freemasons for their generous grant, which will provide vital support for families in our refuge accommodation. It will help so many families to heal together and move on from the trauma they have endured. Providing this help over three years is amazing because it allows us to support these families in the long term, so they can live a life free from abuse.”
Stephen Blank, speaking on behalf of Cheshire Freemasons, said: “I’m very pleased we’ve been able to support this hugely important project that provides essential help and support for very vulnerable children and young people. Whether they have been the victims of violent abuse themselves or have witnessed their mother being assaulted, the trauma can have a devastating effect on their lives. This grant will also support people in our neighbouring county and my colleague Tony Harrison joins with me, speaking on behalf of West Lancashire Freemasons.”