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Children, violence, and vulnerability

The Youth Endowment Fund reports on their survey of over 2,000 children and young people, exploring the ways violence – and fear of violence – is shaping children’s lives.

We all know that violence can have a profound impact on anyone concerned but particularly children and young people.

Violence can make children feel fearful and anxious. Boys are more likely to start fights or bully others and are more likely to get in trouble with the law. Girls are more likely to be withdrawn and experience depression. Young children may experience bed-wetting and increased crying. School aged children can feel guilty and blame themselves, they may not participate in school activities, have fewer friends than others, and get into trouble more often. Teens may act out negatively, such as fighting with family members or skipping school. They may also engage in risky behaviors, such as having unprotected sex and using alcohol or drugs. They may have low self-esteem and find making friends difficult.

Where domestic violence occurs, children are at greater risk of repeating the cycle as adults and becoming abusers themselves.

The Youth Endowment Fund’s Children, Violence, and Vulnerability 2023 report, surveyed over 7,500 children and young people to understand “who experiences violence, how violence is experienced (including online) and the ways that violence is causing harm.” with the hope of learning “more about young people’s experiences…and the points at which we can make the biggest difference”

The report highlights how many children have been victims of crime (16%) or directly affected by violence (47%) and goes to show why the family support offered by our Stanwell Family Centre and our Surrey wide Mentoring teams is so important in helping children, young people, and parents to break the cycle of disadvantage.

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Holly's progress was amazing. She went from coming in to see me in floods of tears to a very confident person who stood up tall and proud of herself.