A SCOTTISH minister has visited Fife to see for herself the efforts being made to help people recover from the evil of domestic abuse.
Angela Constance, minister for children and young people, was invited to the CEDAR (Children Experiencing Domestic Abuse Recovery) project, which helps children, young people and their mothers cope with the behavioural, emotional and social difficulties experienced as a consequence of domestic abuse.
Each year in Fife there are 4000 incidents of domestic abuse reported to the public protection unit, and 30-40 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 therapeutic 12-week group work programme for young people alongside workshops to support mothers.
Ms Constance said: “I’d like to commend the work of the CEDAR initiative and all those involved in what is a hugely important programme.
“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, co-ordinator of Fife Domestic and Sexual Abuse Partnership and 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.
CEDAR understands that it is really important that 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.