When Maya* left an abusive relationship, she hadn’t realised just how much witnessing violence had affected her children, especially the two older ones, Ashley* and Emily*.
Emily had started regularly hitting her sister. She would become withdrawn when upset. Ashley lacked self-confidence but was also trying to act as a parent because she saw herself as ‘protector’ of her two younger siblings.
The young family were referred to the Restore programme which helps children who have been exposed to family violence to overcome its effects. Ashley and Emily attended the sessions for eight weeks. Both children embraced the activities enthusiastically. Emily learnt new ways to express her frustration and Ashley gained more self-confidence. She now lets Mum be the parent.
Since Ashley and Emily completed Restore, our social worker and programme facilitator have found that everyone is getting on much better at home.
*Names changed and models used to protect identity.