Children Linked To And Experiencing Abusive Relationships

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Po Box 706,


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CLEAR works with CYP aged between 3 – 18 years of age. We have recognised that this group represent the often unheard victims of abusive relationships, who do not meet the criteria for intervention provided by statutory bodies, either because their behaviors are not considered serious enough to require intervention, or more commonly, because the traumatic effects of their experiences go unrecognised. Without support, these CYP are at risk of developing low self-esteem, eating disorders, poor performance or attendance at school and other social and behavioral problems. Sadly, these CYP may carry the baggage of their past into their adult lives and thus the cycle of abuse is perpetuated.

Through counseling we offer the CYP the experience of a healthy relationship. Changes take place in the way that the CYP is able to communicate, concentrate and develop a trusting, working relationship with the counsellor. These CYP  flourish in the therapeutic setting and learn how to build safe relationships within their family and friendship circles. The CYP's general behaviors change as their confidence grows in themselves and in the life situation they are coping with.

Group work with peers enables CYP to have some fun and experience some positive feelings and share their concerns and fears with others whom they can trust. Their involvement in the project and being heard by CLEAR reinforces their trust and self-belief. Working with their counsellors and peers helps to provide coping strategies for the CYP and non-abusing parent / carer. This provides them with the confidence to be supportive of others within and outside of the group. The groups also take part in days out and we are particularly keen to take advantage of Cornwall's fantastic environment as "The best classroom and the richest cupboard roofed only by the sky" and embracing the concept of eco-psychology to help where parents and children have become estranged through trauma or sexual abuse and domestic violence.

Without support, it is recognised that CYP who have experienced abusive relationships are more likely to end up in similar situations themselves as adults. The coping strategies and development of self-esteem and valuation of self, helps CYP to break the cycle of abusive relationships and recognise and avoid dangerous situations. The development of understanding of self and what has happened to them encourages the CYP to take part in social activities, relationships and become re-integrated into their school and learning.

CLEAR is the only child centred therapeutic service in Cornwall that can work with CYP who have been traumatised by either direct experience or witnessing abusive relationships. Clear offers individual therapy and group work for CYP, provided by BACP registered counselors who have undergone specialist training in child and adolescent therapy. CLEAR also offers support to the non-abusing carer both individually and with the child. It is the use of specifically trained counselors and the availability of group therapy that makes CLEAR unique. Additionally, 80% of the CLEAR management committee and project workers are professionals working in some capacity with vulnerable CYP in Cornwall. 

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