Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid has received a grant from The Big Lottery of £448,937 over three years to provide support to children and young people aged 0-19 years affected by domestic violence living in our Solihull refuge.

The project includes therapeutic and play sessions, and intensive one-to-one support with specialist Children and Young People’s Workers.  The project will help mothers and children take part in activities together to rebuild relationships often fractured by the abuse, and support the mother’s parenting capacity. Sessions with family support workers will also be offered, enabling youngsters and mothers to feel safe enough to express their feelings.

Currently, there are 5,600 children and young people living with domestic violence in Solihull – 74% of these will also have been abused by the perpetrator.

Nasheima Sheikh, Assistant Chief Executive, said:

“Children need tailored support to help them recover from their experiences of abuse. Research shows that 90 per cent of children are in the same or next room when domestic violence takes place.  Our service will provide in-depth support to children and their mothers affected by domestic violence, by offering safe and confidential ways to enable children to discuss their experiences and empower them to develop positive coping strategies. Children will be given individual attention to make them feel valuable in their own right and within a child friendly environment, making their stay in refuge more fun. We hope to enable children and mothers to make sense of their experiences and to rebuild their lives.”

The grant will also support a Solihull-wide Healthy Relationships Programme, raising awareness of identifying abusive and controlling behaviour, respectful relationships, and being safe amongst young people in schools and colleges.

Women and girls experiencing all forms of violence against women can access support and help through Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid’s freephone Helpline on 0808 800 0028, Monday to Friday, 9:15 am to 5:15 pm.