Ana Alvarez works at the Immigrant Women’s Support Service (IWSS). She has worked in both government and non-government sectors in domestic violence, homelessness, settlement support, family support, and community development. IWSS is a specialist domestic violence and sexual assault service assisting women of non-English speaking backgrounds and their children.
While children represent a large proportion of victims of domestic and family violence, their voices and perspectives regarding their experiences are often not heard. The workshop will provide an interactive forum with a focus on highlighting children’s needs in instances of domestic violence with the aim to encourage child friendly and responsive organisations and environments. Workshop discussion will be informed by the findings of an honours literature review exploring children’s play and children in domestic and family violence refuges, and learnings from a project undertaken by the Immigrant Women’s Support Service to develop culturally appropriate resources aimed at strengthening the mother-child relationship through better understanding of children’s experiences of domestic violence and facilitating communication in an aged appropriate manner. The main target group for the project is women and their children from non-English speaking backgrounds, however the learnings and outcomes are also relevant to others groups.
This workshop will acknowledge the impact of domestic violence in children’s lives and explore the importance of including their voices regarding their experiences when developing service responses.
Key findings from the literature review and how these informed the development and implementation of the project will be discussed, including processes used to incorporate children’s views and experiences in the development of resources. Time will be allocated for open floor discussion during the workshop. Participants will also be encouraged to access the resources, which will be launched in May 2017 and will be available online.