The impact of gender-based violence (GBV) on the individual, the family and the community, is difficult to overstate. Nearly all of us will be affected, either directly or indirectly, at some point during our lifetimes. Inevitably this includes staff, who are likely to find this work additionally challenging. Adequately supporting staff is a key component of a WSA.
As professionals it is important we remain curious and alert to the impacts and indicators of abuse, which often overlap. Sometimes young people tell adults something is wrong without telling them directly. All behaviour is communication. It is our responsibility to be alert to behavioural changes and cues, and to create space for open conversations about thoughts and feelings.
Noticing the signs
These are some of the emotional, physical, cognitive, behavioural and interpersonal impacts and indicators you might notice if someone is being abused.
Changes in weight
Gaps in memory
Alcohol and/or drug use
Lack of boundaries
Young people might develop any, all or none of these symptoms.
Children and young people are resilient and recovery is possible, with the right support.
Young women are more likely to internalise their distress, whilst young men are more likely to act out.