WE caught up with Chloe Grove from Splitz Devon, the Devon Domestic Abuse Support Service, now a part of the LEESAR partnership. Chloe is excited to take on a new role after her extensive work in the field of supporting children & young people impacted by domestic abuse. Chloe tells us what the new role is about and who she supports.
The Young Person’s Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (YP IDVA) provides client led support to victims of domestic abuse aged 14 – 18 and up to 24 in special circumstances. The YP IDVA provides advice and support to these young people around their safety and emotional wellbeing; and housing, financial and legal support where appropriate. The YP IDVA also provides advocacy for these young people and supports them around their understanding of domestic abuse and healthy relationships.
The YP IDVA role came about as it has been found that victims within this age range were not often engaging with, or accessing support from, domestic abuse support services, in fact 75% of young people referred to our service currently do not engage with any service at all. The approach needs to be different when supporting young victims of domestic abuse. This is due to the different challenges that face young people compared to adults, such as reduced access to finances and housing , peer pressure, CSE and social media use. These challenges require a specific skill set to be used, which the YP IDVA can provide. It is important that these young people’s specific needs are responded to and supported with a sensitive approach in order to help prevent them from future abusive relationships as they enter adulthood.
Young people require support to have a more flexible approach, as they may struggle to build rapport with professionals. The YP IDVA can accommodate for this by ensuring that they are led by what the client wants to achieve; how they want to receive support; and through more innovative methods of communication. The YP IDVA can work closely with family, friends and other trusted adults around the young person in order to get the best results. The YP IDVA will often work in a multi-agency setting to help safeguard these young people and work jointly with other relevant professionals also involved in supporting young people The aim of the YP IDVA is to keep young people in current or previous abusive relationships safe and to empower them, to gain control over their lives, in order to not spend a lifetime in future abusive relationships. Young people who get into a cycle of abusive relationships often have poor life chances and find it extremely difficult to break this cycle as they get older. Domestic abuse can have a significant impact on mental health, particularly with depression, anxiety and PTSD as a result of the trauma experienced and it can impact on self esteem.
Young people who are in abusive relationships are more likely to misuse substances, get into debt and experience unwanted pregnancies which could lead to a new generation of children living with adverse childhood experiences. Domestic abuse can also lead to young people disengaging with education, employment and training which ultimately will influence their future in terms of employability and finances, potentially leading to a lifetime of poverty. It is therefore important to act as early as possible to provide support when domestic abuse has been identified, before it starts manifesting into other areas of the individual’s life and having a negative impact on their future prospects.
If you know a young person who could do with support, or a family going through domestic abuse get in touch 03451551074. You can find referral forms and more information at https://www.splitz.org/devon.html