Praise for helping kids from violent homes

A PROJECT in Glasgow helping children cope with domestic violence should be a model for the rest of Scotland, said a city MSP.

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The Children Experiencing Domestic Abuse Recovery (Cedar) was praised during a debate in the Scottish Parliament.

The charity run group provides therapy sessions for children and their mothers who have suffered domestic violence and works with them to help the child recover from the experience.

Sandra White, Kelvin SNP MSP, led a debate and said the project, while seemingly a common-sense approach, was innovative by involving other agencies.

She said: "This type of model is also important not only for the way it can transform people's lives, but sadly on a more pragmatic note, at a time when finances are being squeezed there is more need for this type of multi-agency approach.

"I believe the Cedar model offers a great opportunity to make a real difference to tackle the thorny issue of how we continue to support some of the most vulnerable people in society at these times."

Ms White said the project had two years of finance from the Big Lottery Fund and she said she hoped the Scottish Government would look at Cedar and learn from its methods in developing its approach to tackling domestic abuse across the country.

The MSPs were debating a motion lodged by Cathcart MSP James Dornan who was unable to attend due to unexpected family commitments.

Mr Dornan's motion praised the group and noted its part-nership working with agencies including the Castlemilk Domestic Abuse project.

He also linked its work to that of Dr Nancy Lombard, of Glasgow Caledonian University, who found engaging young people in discussions on violence can help challenge gender based perceptions of violence and recommended it be used to try to break generational cycles of domestic violence.

Ms White told the Parliament that Castlemilk Domestic Abuse Project and Cedar had helped around 100 people in the last three years.

She said: "Incredibly 90% of their clients have gained volunteer positions and employment, helping them regain control of their lives."

The MSP said she hoped the work of the project and Dr Lombard would inform the Scottish Government's future approach to domestic violence. She said: "It is not only about ending domestic violence against women, it is also about achieving equality between men and women in society."

stewart.paterson@eveningtimes.co.uk

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