Prior to Covid-19 Welsh Women’s Aid conducted research on the specialist services available across Wales to children and young people who have experienced all forms of abuse and found a sector significantly under-resourced against the need. Since March 2020 that situation has only been exacerbated, as specialist services employ increasingly creative methods to engage with children and young people, many of whom have lost their access to every other form of external support.
In short, the need for the voices of children and young people to be heard and support available is more important than ever, which is why, as part of a Welsh Women’s Aid campaign to increase the funding for specialist support to ensure all children and young people are able to access the help they need, we’ve put together this Children Matters Campaigns Toolkit for Universal Children’s Day 2020.
Below you’ll find links to reports, briefings, factsheets, videos, data and infographics you can utilise to raise awareness of the needs of children and young people for specialist support for Universal Children’s Day on the 21 November and beyond.
The Welsh Women’s Aid annual membership data report shows in Wales in the year 2019/20:
- 3,312 children and young people received community based support by specialist services.
- 1154 children and young people were living in emergency refuges at some point last year.
- 6,661 children and young people attended awareness raising sessions run by specialist services on violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence (VAWDASV) in their schools
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic it can be anticipated that all areas have seen increasing domestic abuse, sexual violence, forced marriage, so called honour- based violence, child sexual abuse, FGM, exploitation and other forms of violence against women and girls.
Live Fear Free helpline data during COVID 19 pandemic shows:
- 824 callers who were experiencing abuse reported that they had children, this accounts to approximately 1,575
- 275% increase in safeguarding referrals in comparison to the same time last year.
Reports and Resources:
Welsh Women’s Aid’s Children and Young People Participation Report highlights the needs of children and young people affected by VAWDASV and the postcode lottery of specialist provision to support them.
In partnership with BAWSO, Live Fear Free and ACEs Hub Wales, Welsh Women’s Aid have created factsheets on safeguarding pupils against Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence.
The link below provides information and advice for young people on healthy relationships and support during COVID 19 based on our Safety, Trust and Respect Suite of Services:
In September Welsh Women’s Aid and NSPCC Cymru held a joint round table with children’s workers from specialist services, local authorities and other representatives. The joint briefing below outlines the key issues raised and the recommendations for Welsh Government and others to prioritise the needs of children and young people affected by VAWDASV.
- WWA and NSPCC Children and Young People Roundtable briefing – ENG
- WWA and NSPCC Children and Young People Roundtable briefing – CYMRU
A series of infographics to raise awareness of the needs of children and young people for specialist services can be downloaded here: CYP campaign infographics
- Lorna reads a poem she wrote that describes the pain and confusion of losing her voice as a child living with abuse: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbyM2dd_7pU.
- Sarah reflects on her lost innocence when her childhood was stolen at the hands of her perpetrator: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iY95K8hV-kM. C
- Tannith recalls her experiences of being in a violent relationship with a man 15 years older than her from the age of 19. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oc4QLwSETEY.
- Jenni remembers the abuse she experienced from childhood and what it cost her and she claims back her freedom: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTAdc1sG_Dk .
- Kara reflects on the impact of childhood abuse, which led her to fight for the dream of owning her own home: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=An4K7P91_fs.