News | Press Release

12 March 2024

Refuge and UK Trauma Council announce new childhood trauma and domestic abuse project

New collaboration will support children and families affected by the trauma of domestic abuse.

The UK Trauma Council (UKTC), a project of Anna Freud, is thrilled to announce a new collaboration with Refuge, the largest specialist domestic abuse organisation in the UK. Over the next three years, the two charities will work together to develop, pilot and roll out an intervention that aims to address the impact of trauma on children and young people affected by domestic abuse, as well as providing support to their protective parent/carer.

The intervention will be co-designed with children and parents with lived experience, refuge staff and experts working in the fields of childhood trauma and domestic abuse. The project will produce a culturally sensitive intervention that can be delivered by front line staff in refuges, shelters and other safe accommodation.

Denise Brown, Refuge’s Interim Director of Service Delivery:

“In 2021 the landmark Domestic Abuse Act vitally recognised children as victims of domestic abuse in their own right, something the sector had long campaigned for. At Refuge we know about the long-term impacts domestic abuse has on children, and it’s essential this doesn’t get overlooked. Children and young people don’t just witness abuse, they live with it, and it can affect every part of their development, especially their wellbeing and mental health.

“Working in partnership with the UK Trauma Council is a fantastic opportunity to develop and share best practice to support children’s wellbeing and make a real difference in rebuilding their lives following domestic abuse. We know when we work together, sharing our expertise, we can make the most positive change and have a much wider resource to support those that need it most.”

David Trickey, UK Trauma Council Co-Director and Consultant Clinical Psychologist:

“This is an opportunity to ensure that children and their protective parents who have experienced domestic abuse receive the very best, evidence-based intervention as early as possible to enhance their recovery and healing.”

This project has been made possible with thanks to the Dahan Family Foundation. Sophie Amir of the Foundation said “We are deeply humbled to be supporting this exciting new collaborative project between the UKTC and Refuge. This project has the potential to truly help children, and their families, that have experienced so much due to domestic abuse.”

About Refuge

Refuge is the largest specialist domestic abuse organisation in the UK. On any given day our services support thousands of survivors, helping them to overcome the physical, emotional, financial and logistical impacts of abuse and rebuild their lives — free from fear.

About Anna Freud

Anna Freud is a charity bringing together research, clinical expertise, and training to build the mental wellbeing of future generations. Building on 70 years’ experience, we turn research into practice to give more children and young people the help they need, when they need it. At Anna Freud, neuroscientists and practitioners in mental health, social care and education work together with children and young people to transform mental health for children, young people and their families.

About the UK Trauma Council

The UK Trauma Council (UKTC) is a group of leading experts, drawn from a variety of disciplines across all four nations of the UK. We are the first UK-wide platform bringing together expertise in research, practice, policy and lived experience in the field of childhood trauma. The UKTC is a project of Anna Freud. It produces free, evidence-based resources for frontline professionals and carers supporting children and young people impacted by trauma.