REAL LIFE

Children who witness domestic abuse six times more likely to commit suicide

Charities launch scholarship program to help young survivors
Dmitry Ratushny on Unsplash

Children who witness physical, emotional or verbal domestic violence growing up are twice as likely to abuse drugs and six times more likely to die by suicide, statistics show.

According to the Childhood Domestic Violence Association, exposure can also lead to short and long-term negative mental, behavioural, and social effects.

Now two charities have joined forces to help young survivors.

Friends with Dignity and Jeunesse Kids launched The Little Friends Scholarship program in March 2017, helping children in a variety of areas, from attending camp and after-school activities, to providing school uniforms.

“We established the program to ensure all children who are facing or have faced domestic violence have the ability to normalise their lives,” said Friends With Dignity Co-Director and Chief Financial Officer, Julia McKenna. 

“The scholarships are designed to help them re-build their confidence by finding something they are good at, and ensuring their education continues.”

A total of 10 educational and extra-curricular scholarships were awarded in July and August 2017 to children aged between 5-17 years of age.

Now applications are open again.

Normally, all Friends With Dignity programs are on a referral basis from organisations and refuges, however, the Friends With Dignity Little Friends Scholarship program affords parents the opportunity to submit an application personally.

“The Little Friends Scholarship program gives parents the opportunity to tell their children’s stories, and how the scholarship will improve their lives,” Ms McKenna said.

If you are interested to apply for the Little Friends Scholarship Program, go to Little Friends Scholarship to download an application form.

Applications are open now, and close on Thursday 15 February, 2018.

If you are being abused and need help or are worried about someone who is, contact 1800 737732 (in Australia).

Related stories