Kids Against Violence (KAVe)

Support for children who have experienced or witnessed domestic violence

KAVe 4-7 years starts Tuesday 25th October finishes Tuesday 20th November 2011
KAVe 8-12 years, starts Tuesday 25th October finishes Tuesday 20th November 2011

In the past two decades, there has been growing recognition of the prevalence of domestic violence in our society. Moreover, it has become apparent that some individuals are at greater risk for victimisation than others. Domestic violence has adverse effects on individuals, families, and society in general.

Children may exhibit a wide range of reactions to exposure to violence in their home. Younger children (e.g., preschool and kindergarten) oftentimes, do not understand the meaning of the abuse they observe and may believe they “have done something wrong”, that warrants the abuse. Self-blame can precipitate feelings of guilt, worry, and anxiety. It is important to consider that children, especially younger children, typically do not have the ability to adequately express their feelings verbally. Consequently, the manifestation of these emotions is often behavioural.

Some potential effects:


  • Grief for family and personal losses.
  • Shame, guilt, and self blame.
  • Confusion about conflicting feelings toward parents.
  • Fear of abandonment, or expressing emotions, the unknown or personal injury.
  • Anger.
  • Depression and feelings of helplessness and powerlessness.
  • Embarrassment.

  • Acting out or withdrawing.
  • Aggressive or passive.
  • Refusing to go to school.
  • Assuming care of other siblings as a parent substitute.
  • Lying to avoid confrontation.
  • Rigid defences.
  • Excessive attention seeking.
  • Bedwetting and nightmares.
  • Out of control behaviour.
  • Reduced intellectual competency.
  • Manipulation, dependency, mood swings

  • Isolation from friends and relatives.
  • Stormy relationships.
  • Difficulty in trusting, especially adults.
  • Poor anger management and problem solving skills.
  • Excessive social involvement to avoid home.
  • Passivity with peers or bullying.
  • Engaged in exploitative relationships as perpetrator or victim.

  • Somatic complaints, headaches and stomach aches.
  • Nervous, anxious, short attention span.
  • Tired and lethargic.
  • Frequently ill.
  • Poor personal hygiene.
  • Regression in development.
  • High risk play.
  • Self abuse

Parentline offers a seven (7) week education group for children 5- 7 year olds and 8 – 13 year olds.

The group covers:

• How to strengthen the bond between the child and parent / caregiver

• Addressing safety issues

• “Breaking the secret”

• Helping children understand protection orders

• Developing safety plans

• Building support networks

• Addressing and discussing Separation, Loss, Grief and Family Changes

• Assisting children to talk about feelings and to develop social skills

• Help the child begin to understand and manage their own anger

• Provide the child with alternative strategies to deal with anger

• Help children learn realistic and effective means of solving problems and resolving conflict

• Enhance a child’s self esteem and feeling of worth

The groups take place at the commencement of each school term and can accommodate up to 8 children.

Entry Criteria

Parentline offers a service to children who have witnessed or experienced domestic violence and / or suffered abuse as a consequence of domestic violence.


All Parentline facilitators are qualified social workers or counsellors. All facilitators have experience in group facilitation and individual one on one work with children and families.

Each group will have two facilitators; one lead and one co leader. Parentline operates a rotational group facilitation process to enable all facilitators to have indepth experience across all groups offered by Parentline.


All groups are held at Parentline House, 48 Palmerston Street, Hamilton however we are also able to deliver community based programmes. For more information about community based programmes please contact our Service Delivery Manager on 839 4536.

Referral Process

For children to access KAVE they will need to meet our entry criteria and apply at least one term before the commencement date to complete our assessment and intervention planning process. Children who access Parentline services can only access groups as a continuum of care which is part of a Stop Go therapy plan.

Please complete our on line referral form or contact our Intake Coordinator Lisa Herewini on 07 839 4536.