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Hearing Young People Talk About Witnessing Domestic Violence

At least 750,000 children a year worldwide witness domestic violence. These children grow up with an increased risk of developing symptoms associated with trauma and behavioural and mental health problems. This book explores the cases of five young people who have been victims of domestic violence. Allowing the young people to speak out in their own voices, it provides deep insight into how their experiences have affected their emotional behaviour, the complexities of issues related to it and those aspects of support which provide the greatest benefit to them. Drawing on her own personal experience of domestic violence as well as her professional expertise, the author emphasizes the importance of giving voice to victims of domestic violence and highlights the importance of acknowledging the emotional and spiritual lives of victims in order to provide holistic support and understanding, and it's potential to instigate healing. Hearing Young People Talk About Witnessing Domestic Violence is a vital resource for mental health professionals, social care workers, school counsellors and all professionals working in the field of domestic abuse.
Product Details

Table of Contents

Foreword by Gill Hague. Introduction: It's OK to Talk. 1. Stories. 2. Voices. 3. Fearfulness. 4. Competency in Coping. 5. Views of Relationships. 6. Visions of Spirituality. 7. Helping into Wholeness. Index.

Promotional Information

Studies domestic violence from the viewpoint of young people, exploring its effects and new, successful methods to facilitate the healing process

About the Author

Susan Collis is a qualified teacher who has worked with young people with emotional and behavioural difficulties in schools for 10 years. She is also a trained art therapist and has worked in the past as a Children's Outreach worker for Women's Aid. Working now as a Family Support Worker, she has also played a key role in creating The Bridge's Support Project, a multi-agency group that gives specialist support to young people who have experienced domestic abuse. She lives in Hampshire, United Kingdom.


It is my belief that this important book can, and should, inform policy and practice in an area where the voice of the child I sometimes missing, as it so often is in other areas... I found the uniqueness of these young people's voices powerful and poignant, providing an insight into the complexities of their experience that has remained with me... What better way is there to inform policy and practice than to listen carefully to young people's experiences and use this learning to determine how we can best help them? Collis gives these children's voices the power to tell us what needs to happen. All we need to do is listen carefully to them and try to act. I can't think of anything more empowering than that. -- BACP Children & Young People This book offers social workers an opportunity to be more effective in their communications with children and young people, and more analytical and reflective in practice. -- PSW (Professional Social Work) This is an important, exciting book. With compassion and attention to detail, Susan Collis combines research with the voices of five young people and the stories of domestic abuse that they tell. Calm and intelligent throughout, the book will be enlightening and informative for everyone working with young people. -- Nick Luxmoore, School Counsellor, Teacher, Psychotherapist and author of several books including Young People, Death and the Unfairness of Everything ...children who experience or live with domestic abuse are often "heroes of their own lives", but commonly no-one else recognises this - even now. This moving contribution is part of shifting the ground towards those young people, and providing information and insights for professionals and domestic violence survivors themselves. We need to be very grateful to Sue Collis for this unique book. -- Extracted from the foreword by Emeritus Professor Gill Hague, Professor of Violence Against Women Studies Centre for Gender and Violence Research, Bristol University, UK

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