Children to be forgotten no longer

Children are only just being recognised as victims of family violence in their own right, a south-west youth worker says.
Nanjing Night Net

Brophy Youth and Family Services executive manager of child and family services Ruth Isbel said attitudes had only just started to shift with the help of things such as the state Royal Commission into Family Violence.

“We think it’s incrediblypleasing to see children are being acknowledgedas victims in their own right andthat there is a much greater understanding and knowledge of the impact of familyand domestic violence on children and young people,” Ms Isbel said.

A report from the Commission for Children and Young People tabled in State Parliament on Wednesday looked atsystemic failures around the deaths of children experiencing family violence, including children not being given access to support or risks being overlooked.

The report made 13 recommendations to ensure children are recognised in the state’s family violence response, including more focus on children’s unique needs and better practices to prevent, identify and respond to child sexual abuse.

Ms Isbel, who has worked with Brophyfor two decades, said family violence had a serious impact on the social, cognitive, psychological, and emotional development of children.

“Many of our clients, children and young people, come to our attention as a result of experiencingand being exposed to family violence,” she said.

“It can certainlyimpact on their capacity to learn, on theireducation, on their capacity to be able to manage their emotions and itimpacts on their capacity to have trusting, strong relationships.

“It has pervasive impacts on their life trajectory.”

Ms Isbel said prevention was the key to breaking the cycle.

“If we canprevent then hopefully we can stop the cycle from repeating itself,” she said.

Confidential domestic violence counselling is available by phoning 1800 737 732.This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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