Child Advocacy

Child Advocacy

The person / people in this photograph are models, and are, in no way, clients or people associated with Eastern.

Provide support and advocacy for the wellbeing of children.

Referrals & information to Child/Family Support services and programmes.

“It takes a village to raise a child”

Children and domestic violence

Every year, thousands of our New Zealand children are witnesses to domestic abuse and many have been seriously traumatized. Some of the biggest victims of domestic violence are the children.

Research has found there is an increased risk of children becoming victims of abuse themselves, a significant risk of ever-increasing harm to the child’s physical, emotional and social development and a strong likelihood that this will become a continuing cycle of violence for the next generation.

It can be hard for children to express how they are feeling. Children often feel confused, anxious and that the violence is their fault. They may act out their feelings and appear to be being “naughty” or keep their feelings inside and become quiet and withdrawn. It is important to remember the child is not the problem, the violence and the effects are the problem.

The effects of domestic violence on children:

Physical Violence:

  • Believe it’s their fault
  • Become withdrawn or demanding
  • Use physical violence to solve own problems
  • Stop expressing anger at all
  • Learning difficulties at school
  • Live in fear of further abuse
  • Experience nightmares or other sleep disturbances
  • Poor concentration
  • Low self-esteem
  • Do not trust adults
  • Copy abusive behaviours
  • Use aggression and violence to express their own anger
  • Fear they will do something wrong
  • Depression
  • Suicide attempts/self-harming
  • Drug and alcohol use
  • Running away

Emotional & Verbal Abuse:

  • Become confused
  • Are unable to develop a sense of self-worth
  • Find it hard to accept themselves as an OK person
  • Low self-esteem
  • Learn to manipulate to get what they need
  • Communicate and express feelings in an abusive way
  • Do not express feeling at all
  • Demanding, attention seeking behaviours
  • Become withdrawn
  • Fear they will do something wrong
  • Daydreams, removed from reality
  • May regress to behaviours of a child younger than their years/age
  • May become self-destructive, may attempt suicide or use self-harm
  • Depression
  • Drug and alcohol abuse

Fact Sheet: Power and Control Wheel – Nurturing Children

Parenting is a very demanding job at the best of times. The parent who uses tactics of abuse can undermine your parenting ability affecting the mother-child relationship.

Most mothers who are being abused try to protect their children from being exposed to violence, and may not realize that their child is being psychologically and emotionally effected if they hear or see abusive behavior, or even experience the after-effects of the abuse, e.g. mother who is depressed, injured etc.

Help is available. You can contact us in confidentiality to talk about your family, the effects of domestic violence and how you can support your children.

It is important to include your child/children’s safety and wellbeing when implementing a Safety Plan for your whanau/family.

Below are some links that have great information to support physical, social and emotional parenting:

Parenting:

www.womensrefuge.org.nz

www.skip.org.nz

www.plunket.org.nz

www.brainwave.org.nz

Child specific:

www.whatsup.co.nz

www.kidsline.org.nz

www.burstingthebubble.com

Teenagers:

www.womensrefuge.org.nz (Rangatahi link)

www.headspace.org.nz

www.youthline.co.nz

www.familyplanning.org.nz

www.thelowdown.co.nz