A FIFE project helping families recover from domestic abuse received a visit from Scotland’s Minister for Children and Young People this week.
Angela Constance MSP spent time at the CEDAR (Children Experiencing Domestic Abuse Recovery) Project to see first hand the initiative, one of three piloted across Scotland, helping children, young people and their mothers cope with the behavioural, emotional and social difficulties as a consequence of domestic abuse.
Each year in Fife there are 4000 incidents of domestic abuse reported to the Public Protection Unit, between 30 and 40 per cent of children in police ‘Cause for Concern’ reports relate to domestic abuse and a high proportion of children witness incidents.
CEDAR provides a 12-week group work programme for children and young people alongside workshops to support mothers.
During her visit, Ms Constance commended the work of all those involved in the “hugely important programme.”
She said: “Domestic abuse has a devastating impact on family life and can seriously impair the future prospects and wellbeing of any child who experiences it.
“Projects such as CEDAR can play a huge part in helping repair the damage it causes, allowing affected youngsters to share their experiences and start to build a path towards a happier and safer future.”
Sheila Noble, CEDAR Fife manager, said: “The impact of domestic abuse on children and young people can be profound. They may have lived with abuse for many years before the impact on their wellbeing is identified or they get help.
“It is really important children and their mothers are able to talk about the abuse as many families adopt a ‘conspiracy of silence’ in an attempt to protect each other.”
Councillor George Kay, chairman of Fife police, fire and safety committee, added: “Domestic abuse is a community safety priority in Fife.
“This initiative has helped us to adopt new approaches to intervene at an early stage.”