Extra refuges for domestic abuse victims will open in Sheffield along with therapy for children

A specialist therapeutic support service for children affected by domestic abuse will open in Sheffield.

Thursday, 17th March 2022, 11:58 am

And there are plans to create more safe refuges for people fleeing from violent homes.

Between 25,973 and 28,834 children were affected by domestic abuse in the last year, according to council estimates.

There is a very high demand for a current therapy service, which has waiting lists and is working over capacity.

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Domestic abuse victims in Sheffield will be helped with extra refuges and therapy for children

Therapy for youngsters aged three to 19

Council officer Alison Higgins said: “The new service will use a trauma informed approach to support children to improve their wellbeing, confidence and safety so they can share their feelings in a safe environment.

“It will enable children and families to recover from their experience and increase their chances of achieving good outcomes.”

There will be a range of programmes for youngsters aged three to 19 and a minimum of 210 children per year will be helped.

The report adds: “There will be direct work with children to undertake age appropriate safety planning, along with therapeutic support, where they are living with ongoing domestic abuse.

“Recovery work will be offered following assessment where the perpetrator is no longer within the family home.

“This will cover issues such as understanding emotions, self-regulation, how to seek help in the future, the building of self-esteem and healthy relationships.”

More refuges for victims

Refuge accommodation has been provided in Sheffield since the 1970s. The council currently commissions 62 units of safe accommodation and plans to increase this to a minimum of 70 units.

In 2014 the council worked with Sanctuary Housing to design and build a high quality modern refuge.

Victims were involved in the design of the building which has strong security measures, 24 hour staffing on site and secure garden space for small children.

A separate building in another part of the city includes many of the same facilities and there is also a new refuge for males and members of the LGBT+ community.

Around 20,000 people aged over 16 experience domestic abuse each year in Sheffield with 28,000 children affected. Of these 90 per cent are female.

More than 90 per cent of those who stay in a refuge go on to safer accommodation and have a positive outcome.