Children's counselling service

We're working to rebuild traumatised lives. We're providing crucial counselling and therapeutic support for over 70 child victims each year.

Domestic violence can have an enormous effect on a child's mental health. There is growing evidence that children who live in families where there is violence between the parents can suffer serious long-term emotional effects. Even if they are not physically harmed, children may suffer lasting emotional and psychological damage as a result of witnessing violence. They may be encouraged to take part in bullying or threatening a parent, or be threatened by one parent as a way of controlling the other.

Fresh Visions aims to alleviate the long-term effects of domestic violence by providing child counselling in our women's refuges.

First Steps Counselling Service

First Steps is a domestic abuse counselling service for women and children. Our counselling is based on the premise that the people who use are services are THE experts on their own lives and experiences. We provide a relationship to help victims of domestic violence make sense of their experiences so they can take the first steps to feeling in control of every aspect of your life. To find out more, download our leaflet on the right of this page.

Meet Joseph

Joseph's mother, Molly, hadn't bonded with him when he was a baby due to the effects of domestic abuse. She was made to leave him screaming and was forbidden to pick him up unless he needed feeding or changing. Eventually he stopped crying.

Molly was bereft, she felt like a failure. She felt pain in her stomach when her baby cried. Drinking alcohol was her only respite from her despair.

At the age of 4 when he came to Fresh Visions' counselling services, Joseph resembled an autistic child. He had an unusual stare, lashed out at his mother and was difficult to control showing no emotional attachment to her.

He was offered play therapy in the hope that it would replace and start the missed bonding process. Play therapy was challenging at first as he lashed out and did not trust the process. It took a long time, but through play and counselling he started to come out of his shell and trust that the world was safe.

His mother was given parenting and specific advice on bonding and attachment methods. She was encouraged to praise him and not to focus on his bad behaviour unless there were risks. Eventually they started to bond.

Over a period of weeks and months, he started to smile and developed a loving relationship with his mother.

With your help we can support more mothers like Molly and more children like Joseph.