Domestic Violence and Child Protection: Directions for Good Practice

By Cathy Humphreys; Nicky Stanley | Go to book overview

Chapter 4
Prevention Programmes
for Children and Young People

Jane Ellis, Nicky Stanley and Jo Bell


Introduction

Since the early 1990s, there has been increased awareness and concern about the welfare of children and young people living with domestic violence (Abrahams 1994; Hester, Pearson and Harwin 2000; Mullender and Morley 1994; Stanley 1997), with estimates that a significant proportion of children – between 27 and 60 per cent – experience it in some form (Children and Young People's Unit 2001; Gibbons, Conroy and Bell 1995). Recognitionof the widespread nature of the phenomenon has fuelled a move towards undertaking preventive work with general populations of children and young people in schools. This work aims to educate children and young people about domestic violence with the intention of limiting the incidence of violence in younger generations. Such an approach represents a primary prevention strategy and contrasts with previous domestic violence services for children and young people which focused on secondary and tertiary prevention. These were specialist and/or targeted interventions which were confined to addressing the needs of those known to be living with domestic violence.

Primary prevention programmes addressing domestic violence have been delivered and evaluated in North America since the mid-1980s (Burkell and Ellis 1995; Dusenbury et al. 1997; Meyer and Stein 2001). In England, such programmes have emerged more recently and several intersecting ideas about children, violence and prevention have underpinned their development: these will be explored in the first section of the chapter. The second section of the chapter reports on a mapping study which reviewed the development of these programmes in England and provides an overview of their key features. The final

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