Kidz Project gives a voice for young in abuse situations

Tusla have launched The 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence campaign.

TUSLA, the Child and Family Agency, in partnership with Barnardos and Adapt Domestic Abuse Services in Limerick launched its 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence campaign with a focus on children and young people’s experience of coercive control.

The event showcased the Empower Kidz Project, a coercive control web titled ‘Not All Hurting is Physical’.

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence campaign is a global movement aimed at calling for an end to violence against women and girls.

Speaking at the event, Tusla senior prevention, partnership, and family support manager Sinead Hickey, said: “Tusla is delighted to host this event in Limerick. Too often children and young people are the silent victims of coercive control within the home.”

“It is essential that all of us foster an environment of awareness, listening and support to really understand the impact on children and young people. We wish to thank all involved for using their voice to improve our collective awareness.”

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Denise Dunne, director of Adapt domestic abuse services added: “The Childrens Coercive Control Web is powerful and a really important tool. It shows us how domestic abuse and coercive control impacts on children and young people. Too often in the past the popular belief was that if children didn’t witness abuse, then it didn’t affect them, but we know of course that this isn’t true.”

According to Valerie Gleeson, TLC Kidz coordinator at Barnardos, the project is hoped to give children “a voice and space to talk about and share their lived experiences of domestic violence in their homes. It’s their words, their feelings and experiences that have created this amazing resource.”

Inspector Sandra Heelan, of An Garda Síochána, said the force  welcomes the opportunity to come together with colleagues to raise awareness about the impact of domestic violence in the home.

“There has been an eight per cent increase in reports of domestic abuse this year compared to 2022, with more than 54,000 domestic abuse complaints made to Gardaí in 2023. It is essential that we work together to support children and families experiencing domestic violence,” she said.