We help mums protect and effectively parent their children so that they can leave abuse behind and live happy, settled lives in the future. Here are some of their stories:
Scarlett met with our children’s worker once a week to gain an understanding of her feelings and emotions having witnessed domestic abuse.
She was a confident 11-year-old, but she was having nightmares and was finding it difficult to build relationships with other children.
She enjoyed arts and crafts which became part of her weekly sessions. Scarlett engaged well and trusted staff enough to disclose some intense feelings. We supported her through these feelings using emotions stones, relatable stories, and drawings.
When Scarlett, her mum and younger sister were ready to leave the refuge, Scarlett said that she thought that the three of them would be happy in their new house.
9-year-old Jamie arrived at the refuge with his mum and younger sister, Lila. In the beginning, Jamie was quite boisterous and loud, but he soon showed a real interest in Lego; it was his favourite thing to do, and he would spend ages building things.
Jamie met with our children’s worker and happily engaged in some Lego Therapy activities. Lego can be a great tool to link with our feelings and, as this was something Jamie liked to do, it seemed a natural path to addressing and managing his emotions.
Jamie’s boisterous behaviour calmed. He began to play Lego with his Mum and encouraged his little sister to play too – it was lovely to see the happiness in the family when they all played together.
5-year-old Eva could always be found in the playroom playing with the doll’s house. She could often be heard re-enacting scenarios that were later linked to the domestic abuse she had witnessed.
We used play sessions to help Eva understand how we can treat each other, how we speak to each other, and how to be kind. We also made sure that Eva knew who she could speak to if she felt scared or worried about something.
When Eva and her mum were ready to leave the refuge, Eva drew a lovely picture of how she imagined her new home would be, with all her favourite things in her new bedroom. She coloured everything in her favourite colour, purple.
Isabelle and Kayla displayed very erratic behaviours when they first arrived at the refuge with their mum. Sometimes they would be quiet and seem scared, and on other days they’d be loud and confident.
Their mum told us that she felt really bad for shouting at them and felt overwhelmed with their uncontrollable behaviour. She talked about how she used to have to go to work in the evenings and leave the children at home with their dad who would drink and not pay any attention to them, meaning they were both still awake when she got home from work.
With some positive parenting support, mum was able to understand why the girls behaved like this, how she could support them to feel safe, and how to put routines in place.
She worked so hard to make positive changes, and her efforts produced a huge change in both children’s behaviour. It was wonderful to see them happy and relaxed with their mum.