Advocacy for 12-18s
The VOICE Children & Young Persons Advocacy Service helps children and young people under the age of 18 years who are experiencing/ have experienced domestic abuse or any other forms of abuse.
What is Domestic Abuse?
Domestic abuse is the use of controlling or abusive behaviour towards a partner in a relationship with which often gets worse over time. Physical violence and threats may be used but domestic abuse does not have to include physical violence. It may also take the form of:
Emotional Abuse – constantly putting a person down, name-calling, always wanting to know where they are, checking up on them, threatening to leave or commit suicide if they leave.
Financial Abuse – taking a person’s money, making a person ask for money, making a person say how they spend every single penny, not allowing them to work and earn money, making all the decisions when deciding what to buy and when to buy
Sexual Abuse – making someone do sexual things that they don’t want to do, rape, calling the person degrading names, making them watch sexual acts/pictures.
Isolation – Stopping someone from seeing friends & family, not allowing visitors. Going everywhere with them, locking them in the home.
Threats – Making a person afraid using looks or gestures, saying they will hurt or kill them or someone precious to them or a pet, threatening to smash / damage things
You may recognise this behaviour from adult relationships at home of even from your own relationships.
If you are witnessing domestic abuse in your family or home, there is support available. It can be very difficult and upsetting to live in a house where abuse is taking place and you might feel scared, hurt, angry, or ashamed about what is going on. It’s important to remember that you are not to blame, and that help and support is available. You may be:
- Experiencing abuse or controlling behaviour
- Seeing / hearing the abuse of someone else take place or over phone / internet
- Seeing injuries or upset caused by the abuser after it happens
- Trying to keep yourself and younger brothers or sisters safe
- Getting hurt (physically and / or emotionally) if you are there when abuse happens or if you try to intervene or stop it happening
- Worried / Anxious, not able to focus on school or friendships
- Having Difficulty managing your own feelings and behaviour
This can have an impact on your Physical, Emotional and Mental well-being. It is important to remember that neither you nor the person being abused are responsible for the abuse happening. The only person responsible for the abuse is the person using abusive and controlling behaviour. Always.
Alternatively, If you are aged 13 + and in a relationship with someone who is abusive and controlling then please get in touch we are here to help and offer a confidential service. Many young people describe abusive and controlling relationships as “Toxic”.
How Can THE VOICE Service Help?
- We can help you to make a Safety Plan and make safer choices
- Support you to express your views and opinions
- Listen to what you have to say
- Help you to recognise the abuse
- Provide appropriate resources for you to express your views and opinions which can be shared with parents, other professionals at court, meetings, hearings etc.
- Support you to attend meetings such as TAC, Social Work & Children’s Panel Hearings
- We will ensure that you feel included in decisions made
- Communicate with you and support you to understand what is happening
- Gather information to allow you to make informed choices about what you want and need from adults around you
- Help you to sort out concerns and/or make a complaint
- Ensure that those caring for you listen to what you have to say
- Put you in touch with other people / agencies who can give you help and advice
- All Children and Young People will have the support they need to be safe, healthy and achieving their potential.
Warning signs Toxic / Abusive Relationship
It’s important to know the difference between loving and controlling behaviour. What might appear as someone caring for you can be signs of an abusive relationship.
If this is your first relationship you may not have a lot of experience in spotting the warning signs.
Here are some things you might want to look out for:
Does your partner…
- text and call you all the time?
- want you to spend ALL your time together?
- get jealous when you chat to friends and other boys/girls?
- make you wear clothes they like?
- pressure you to take the relationship further?
- try to humiliate you when you fall out?
- say they would kill or harm themselves if you finished with them?
- get violent and / or aggressive with you?
There is no reason why your partner should humiliate, control or be violent to you. It is never your fault. Please contact us for help and advice
HOW WE CAN HELP:
Help you to make a Safety Plan and make safe choices.
Other Sources of help:
0800 11 11
Scottish Child Law Centre
0131 667 6333
Under 21s call for free from:
Landlines 0800 328 8970
Mobiles 0300 330 1421
LGBT Youth Scotland
LGBT Domestic Abuse Scotland
LGBT Youth Scotland