Approximately one in three children Barnardos supports have experienced domestic violence and abuse

The Children’s Charity Calls for more investment in Supporting Children Living with Domestic Violence and Recovering from Trauma.

Posted on Wednesday 30 November 2022 in Press Releases

As part of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence 2022, Empower Kids Project and Barnardos children’s charity are calling for greater support for children experiencing domestic violence and abuse, and additional research to establish the number of children living with domestic violence and abuse in Ireland.

The Empower Kids Project, is a multi-agency* collaboration with services from around Ireland – and includes the voices of more than 50 children to date who have lived with domestic violence and abuse.

The calls are being made on the release of ME2U, a new poster and leaflet created by the members of the Empower Kids Project sharing their advice for other children and young people living with domestic violence and abuse.

Some of the advice from young people to their peers:
‘It’s ok to help your siblings and try to keep them safe.’
‘It’s not your fault, don’t blame yourself.’
‘Telling the truth is hard. You don’t want to be judged by what your family is doing, and you can’t control it.’
‘Get some earbuds or headphones so you don't have to listen.’

The Empower Kids Project will showcase their lived experiences through a photography exhibition IT HURTS: LISTEN TO US at Wood Quay in Dublin City Council on November 30th from 2pm.

View the young people's powerful messages in video here.

Áine Costello National Coordinator for the Barnardos Childhood Domestic Violence and Abuse Project commented: ‘Today’s exhibition is the result of two years of hard work and commitment from the children and young people in Empower Kids. So often, children and young people who experience domestic violence are silenced, this work gives the young people a voice, a sense of agency, an opportunity to be heard and share their lived experience.’

Suzanne Connolly, Barnardos CEO: ‘We are calling on the Government to ensure they see through on their commitment made in the Domestic Sexual and Gender-Based Violence National Strategy to resource the further development of specialist DSGBV services, throughout the state for children and young people - because childhood lasts a lifetime.’

Ombudsman for Children, Niall Muldoon - ‘Children are experts in their experiences of childhood domestic violence and abuse. I am delighted to meet such brave young people. Hearing their experiences reiterates the fact that children are victims of domestic violence in their own right. Today is a celebration of their resilience, their compassion and bravery.’


*Partner Services for the Empower Kids Project:
The Empower Kids Project team member services are: Cope Domestic Violence service Galway, Adapt domestic abuse services, Mayo women’s support services, Longford women’s link, Clarehaven, Meath Domestic violence service, Daughters of Charity – Dublin Safer families, Women’s aid Dundalk, EPIC, Saoirse Domestic Violence services, Cuan Saor Domestic Violence service and Barnardos TLC KIDZ projects across North Tipperary, Limerick/Clare and Cavan/Monaghan.

Empower Kids Project materials:
Me2U Poster here
Me2U Leaflet guidance document for support workers here

Notes to editors:
For further information, please contact:
Barnardos Press Office: 086 0445966
Facebook: barnardosireland
Twitter: @Barnardos_IRL
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