New Research Project – Children Overcoming Domestic Abuse

Safe As, Cardiff Women’s Aid Children and Young People’s Team, will be taking part in a landmark research study focusing on specific interventions for children who have experienced domestic violence and abuse (DVA).

The study is led by Dr. Emma Howarth, a psychologist and senior lecturer at the University of East London. It aims to examine whether CODA (Children Overcoming Domestic Abuse), a community support programme for mothers and children, has a positive long-term impact on the wellbeing of children who have suffered abuse. CODA was developed by charity AVA (Against Violence and Abuse). The programme has been run across the UK since 2009 but its impact on its users is yet to be subject to rigorous evaluation. Cardiff Women’s Aid will trial the programme in the first phase of study.

Reflecting on the significance of the study, Dr. Howarth stated “DVA and children’s experience of it is a major public health concern. With even higher rates reported during the Covid-19 lockdown, this research is needed now more than ever. Children who live with DVA are victims in their own right, who may experience the consequences of abuse throughout their whole lives”.

At Cardiff Women’s Aid we recognise the importance of creating change that lasts. Essential to creating this change is gaining an understanding of the effects of domestic violence and abuse on children and young people, and finding the best interventions to support and help them recover from this experience. We are delighted to be involved in such a critical study in addressing this issue.

Author: Bethan Gilson – CWA Volunteer Blogger

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