Core Signs of Safety Tools and Techniques

Emotional Abuse and Domestic Violence

Hugo, Robert and Kelsey

20 Sep 2018

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Danger Statement: Emotional Harm: Domestic Violence

Cathy and Amanda at CPS can see Harry and Sally have worked really hard to make changes so that things are safer at home for Hugo, Robert and Kelsey and know how hard this has been for them with the differences between life in Africa and Australia.  Cathy and Amanda at CPS still have worries about how Harry and Sally will manage the stressful times in their lives about money, school and raising their children. Cathy worries that when the stress builds up for Harry things could boil over and he will lash out, hitting Sally hard on her face and her body, like the times the kids have told Cathy about that happened when they were all at home. Cathy worries that, because Sally is scared of the hitting and anger from Harry and doesn’t know what to do, she will take to her bed hoping it will all go away, and this will leave the kids not knowing who is caring for them and keeping them safe. If Harry keeps getting angry, yelling, hitting and terrorising everyone in the house the kids will feel frightened, wondering when the next time will be that dad lashes out. Hugo, Robert or Kelsey could get caught in the middle of dad’s hitting and get hurt themselves. Living with so much fear can mean kids can’t grow, learn and develop in their bodies and brains like they need to. Cathy also worries the kids will grow up thinking all their dad’s stress is their fault and the only way to manage difficult times or solve problems is to get angry, scream, shout and hit.

Safety Goal: Emotional Harm: Domestic Violence

Cathy and the social workers at CPS can see how much Harry and Sally value their family and want to have all their children home with them so they can make a good life for them all in Australia.For the kids to be able to all go home, Cathy and her boss at CPS need to see that Harry and Sally can bring together a group of people to work with them to make a plan with clear rules about how they will manage the stress and problems so that the children are always looked after in a way that doesn’t frighten or hurt them and so they get all the love security and care they need to grow up happy.Harry will work with Cathy to create an explanation for his children about the hitting and Sally will work with her support people and Cathy to create a personal safety plan, so everyone knows how she will keep herself and the children safe when things start to get scary with Harry.  Everyone will work together to make a family safety plan with specific rules to make sure that no matter how stressed or worried Harry is, he has things he can do and people to help him so that he can respond calmly, and Sally and the kids don’t get frightened or hurt.  Once the plans are finished Harry and Sally will explain the rules to Hugo, Robert and Kelsey so they know exactly who will do what to keep them safe no matter what is happening in their mum or dad’s lives.

Safety Scale: Emotional Abuse: Domestic Violence

On a scale of 0 to 10 where 10 is everyone knows that things can get really stressful for Harry (and for Sally) with so many worries about the kids misbehaving, where they will live, the work with CPS, the money or the worries around the visas but they also know that there is a plan in place for Harry himself, for Sally and the kids and for the network who all know who will do what and when, to make sure, no matter how stressful things get for Harry, he can manage it in a way that means that Sally and the kids won’t get hurt or frightened and 0 is although Harry and Sally can see there need to be some big changes in the way they deal with all the stressful things in their lives, they don’t know to make changes that will be able to still  be done when the situations are happening and it is just a matter of time before Harry gets really wound up and lashes out yelling and hitting Sally and the kids could be hurt themselves or really frightened by how dad is behaving. Where are you on that scale of 0 to 10?