The 2015 ‘Thematic Paper on the Right of the Child to Live a Life Free from Violence’ looks at how domestic violence affects children: from direct physical assault to witnessing how their mothers cope with violence. In addition, the paper explores what children learn from living with domestic violence, and the continuing impact of domestic violence on family relations, as well as the right of the child to contact with both parents.
The protection of children from violence in the domestic context has been one of the main issues addressed by WAVE and its network members over the years. The need for support services (including women’s refuges/shelters) to have trained staff that can address the specific needs of children is paramount, and it has been promoted alongside the availability of specialized support services for women survivors of violence. The need for special attention for children who live in women’s refuges is also addressed in WAVE’s 2004 ‘Away From Violence’ manual.