Domestic abuse is something of a taboo subject in our society. It’s certainly not something most people would discuss over a cup of tea. But it is a real problem that affects hundreds of (mainly) women and children, including many living here in the Borders.
This week, you can read about a fantastic partnership initiative, co-ordinated by Scottish Women’s Aid, which offers Borders mothers and their children a safe place to receive the support they need as they recover from domestic abuse.
CEDAR groups offer women and their children a chance to explore their feelings, with an emphasis on providing fun and creative activities that keep children engaged and interacting with each other. One of the key aims is to create a safe place for children and their mothers, so they can help each other find the best strategies to deal with their experiences and rebuild their lives.
Having spoken at length to a group of mothers who had just gone through a 12-week programme with their children, I saw first hand the positive impact these sessions had on their recovery, and all told me that without this help, they and their children would be struggling to cope.
The work carried out by co-ordinator Elizabeth Parker and her co-facilitators is hugely important and it would be fantastic if extra funding could be found to expand this service – adding more groups or paying for a co-ordinator to work in our schools.