Behind Closed Doors – reaction from a Flag DV trustee

Here at FLAG DV we have been reflecting upon the fascinating documentary Behind Closed Doors shown on ITV on 14th  February and shown again yesterday (available on ITV player).

The programme makers had unprecedented access to the Thames Valley Police Domestic Abuse Investigation Unit and the victims / survivors they work alongside. Filmed over a 12 month period, and starting from the moment a 999 call is received, the film followed three brave women, who shared their experiences to help the wider public gain an understanding of the issue of domestic abuse.

Personally, the documentary evoked in me a number of emotions, and I must admit many of them were negative. Continue reading

Doing it for the Kids

We’re taking the title of this week’s post from the world of pop and Mr Robbie Williams “Doing it for the kids” because it encapsulates such an important part of what we do.

How does domestic violence and abuse affect children?
There’s no easy way to say it but children die at the hands of abusive parents. In one study 5% of pregnant women reported miscarriage as a result of domestic violence.

You may have been following the case of alleged murder which is in trial at the moment. If proven, 4 year old Daniel Pelka will join the horrific figure of 33 children murdered by parents each year.

Children are often not just on the sidelines when domestic abuse take place. The suffer sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, neglect or abduction.

Children are harmed by domestic abuse whether they are directly abused or not. A huge 90% of children in households where there is domestic violence and abuse are thought to be in the same or the next room.

Singer Jahmene Douglas has spoken openly about the violence and abuse both he and his mother suffered at the hands of his father.

His brother took his own life.

He has said

I think that living in fear is one of the worst things that you can go through

It’s not easy to leave

Remaining in a relationship of abuse is harmful to children.

However, we understand that leaving may also bring its own difficulties for children. For the children of people who leave abusive relationships, they may lose their home, a parent or parent figure, their room, friends, family and possessions and they may have to change school. These changes could be huge in the life of a child.

Protection, Empowerment and Choice

Our top priority for children who live in abusive households is the protection of those children and we adhere to good principles of safeguarding children.

We believe that in so far as the law can help with this, protection is best given to children by providing victims of domestic violence and abuse with legal advice about their rights and responsibilities.

Through understanding their legal rights and responsibilities we believe that people are empowered to make the choices that are right for them and their children.