Help for Young Victims in City; DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: New Scheme for Children at Risk
Byline: By Tina Junday
CHILDREN who suffer from domestic violence and abuse in Coventry are set to benefit from a new scheme.
Its name, Defuze, was chosen by young people in the city and will provide confidential support for those aged 18 and under.
The project, launched by the Barnardo's children charity and Coventry City Council, is the first of its kind in the city.
Representatives from both parties held up placards at the Ricoh Arena which displayed the latest figures from the child abuse investigation unit at Little Park Street police station.
Police responded to 2,562 incidents of domestic violence and abuse where there were children present within the home between April 1, 2007 and March 31, 2008.
The number of children involved in these incidents was 4,792, of which 51 per cent were under six years old.
The Coventry City football club mascot, Sky Blue Sam, and Lord Mayor, Cllr Andy Matchett, were also there to lend support.
Barnardo's will assess referrals of child victims from youth workers, teachers, doctors, or other charitable organisations and begin their plan of action.
Susan Parkes, Barnardo's manager of children's services, said: "Each case referred to us will be risk assessed.
"We would meet with the nonabusive parent and the child at an early stage to help reduce the effect it can have on them.
"It can leave them feeling sad, angry, confused and frightened and it can be very isolating. …