‘They know what you are going through’: a service response to young people who have experienced the impact of domestic abuse

Annette Coburn, Sinead Gormally

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Riverside Women's Aid offers a specialised youth service for young people who have experienced or been affected by domestic abuse in one town in Scotland. This article discusses findings from a research evaluation that examined the advantages of participating in this service. The experiences of young people and youth workers involved showed a commitment to youth work values and methods that contributed to support and helped reduce feelings of isolation. The findings suggested that one-to-one support and group work sessions brought benefits in establishing empathy and generating positive experiences. This helped the young people to better understand domestic abuse and to feel safe and confident about working through their feelings and making new friends. Analysis also suggested that young people valued the services provided by qualified and experienced Women's Aid youth workers, which they perceived as different from other youth work services. The arguments for this kind of specialist service were compelling, yet analysis highlighted a need for caution in order to avoid creating dependency. There were also calls for improved communication and understanding among partner agencies involved in work with young people.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)642-663
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Youth Studies
Volume17
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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