The Children Scarred by Domestic Violence

Article excerpt

Byline: By Mitya Underwood

Today a North East domestic violence group is launching a hard-hitting report, Whispers from the Top of the Stairs, in which children tell of their experiences in a violent home. Mitya Underwood reports

According to Home Office figures, domestic violence is the biggest killer of women aged between 19 and 44, and a large majority of these women will have children living with them in the home.

The research done by registered charity Wearside Women In Need shows exactly what these children go through witnessing a parent suffering some of the worst violence imaginable.

Through focus groups and workshops done in refuges around the region, the WWIN charity has compiled some harrowing stories, with children as young as three showing how they are affected.

The children spent 10 weeks working with the WWIN team discussing how the violence they had seen, heard, or even experienced first hand, affected them.

The children described a wide range of physical abuse. Some of the children had seen their mums head-butted, punched, thrown, and dragged along the road and others had even witnessed knife attacks.

Director Claire Phillipson has been leading WWIN for almost 20 years and was determined to give children suffering domestic violence a voice. …