Working with child victims of domestic violence is complex, we all agree. Although as professionals, we would like the victimized parent to end this relationship, it is not always possible for the person, at that time, for several legitimate reasons.
So what can we do to help a child victim of domestic violence?
We would first like to specify that the first thing to do is report to the Director of Youth Protection if the health or safety of the child is compromised.
Now let’s take a look at a few ways to get started. First of all, an important aspect is that during our interactions with the child, we will talk about unacceptable behaviors rather than talking specifically about the parent with the violent behaviors. We want to prevent the child from thinking that he does not have the right to love his parent: it is violence that we do not like! During our interventions, we must position ourselves against violence and reiterate that nothing justifies it.
In follow-up, several themes are interesting to address:
- good and bad secrets;
- protection scenarios;
- healty management of emotions;
- children’s rights;
Much learning will occur unconsciously. Let’s take the example of healthy and egalitarian relationships, these develop during the helping relationship when we solicit the child’s opinion, when we offer him choices or when we listen to his needs.
Also, if possible, it is beneficial for the child to be able to develop through activities that they enjoy doing outside of the home. We then invest in the passion of the young person and he gains self-confidence. It also allows you to develop meaningful relationships with other children or with trusted adults.
If we believe, as a professional, that the consequences of violence are outside our field of expertise, we should not hesitate to refer or seek clinical support. Several resources can offer you advice, such as SOS violence conjugale or Violence Info.
SOS violence conjugale : 1 (800) 363-9010
Violence Info : (418) 667-8770