Children and Domestic Violence in Rural Areas: A child-focused assessment of service provision

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Save the Children,The Countryside Agency

The Countryside Agency commisioned Save the Children to manage this research, which took place in 2002. It aims to explore the nature and extent of domestic violence support provision for children and young people living in rural areas in England, to identify examples of good practice, and to highlight implications for policy, practice, and improvements in the provision of domestic violence services. It responds to an identifiable research and policy vacuum relating to domestic violence services for children and young people living in rural areas.

This pioneering research explores domestic violence from children and young people’s perspective within this rural framework and uncovers a significant gap in the provision of care and support. It highlights the cross-cutting implications for education, health, and welfare and considers the potential damage caused by failure to respond. It also demonstrates the vulnerability of rural young people, where there is evidence of higher rates of suicide and a greater likelihood of being placed on the ‘at risk’ register than many of their urban counterparts. 

This report sends a timely reminder to practitioners, service providers, and policy-makers at all levels to think about how policies and initiatives aimed at responding to domestic violence can best meet rural needs and circumstances, and to consider how agencies can work in partnership to respond most effectively in rural areas. Most of all, though, it emphasizes the importance of listening to rural children and young people to find out exactly what they need to help them overcome the difficulties they face. 

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