Information For Parents

Domestic abuse affects children and young people.  Even if the abuse is not targeted at them, they do hear and see what is happening around them; and pick up on the underlying tensions and emotions from a very young age.  Children living with domestic abuse can often be afraid, withdrawn, angry, lack confidence, have sleeping problems or have problems at school.  The NSPCC’s Whole Woman booklet gives more information for parents, and the Women’s Aid Survivors Handbook has detailed advice for everyone experiencing domestic abuse – this is their page on children and domestic violence.

If you want to speak to someone to find a way forward, Stepping Stones, Women's Aid in Luton, Luton All Women's Centre and Victim Support can help and advise you and your children. The Luton Safeguarding Children's Board can also help you.  Other, specialised organisations are shown on this page.

Teenage Relationship Abuse

Domestic abuse can also happen within teenage relationships.  Warning signs can include :

  • no longer spending time with their usual circle of friends
  • constantly checking a mobile phone
  • being withdrawn or quiet
  • changing their appearance, clothes, make up or style
  • making excuses for a boyfriend or girlfriend

The Home Office booklet Teenage Relationship Abuse : a parent's and carer's guide to violence and abuse in teenage relationships and Do You Know if Your Teenager is in an Abusive Relationship? give advice for parents and carers on teenage relationship abuse, along with their dedicated website.

If you believe your teenager is in such a relationship, they may find this page useful.

Luton All Women's Centre has launched the Young Women’s ‘ Respect’ Support Service which will provide one to one support and group work activities to vulnerable young women aged 13-25, including those at risk of domestic abuse, relationship abuse, sexual abuse or sexual exploitation.

The Home Office and the Government Equalities Office have this year launched a new teenage relationship abuse campaign, 'Disrespect Nobody' aimed at 12 to 18 year old boys and girls aims to prevent young people from becoming perpetrators and victims of abusive relationships by encouraging them to re-think their views of violence, abuse, controlling behaviour and what consent means within their relationships. Go to the new website where you can get further information about organisations which can provide help and support.

Vulnerable 18 and over

If your child is disabled, or has mental health issues, and is experiencing domestic abuse, please contact the Luton Safeguarding Adults team who can help you.

Children and Young People Page

We would encourage you to look at the page for Children and Young People on this site, and if possible show your children.  They have links to national websites (Childline, The Hideout) aimed at children and young people living with domestic abuse, and can help them understand what is happening, any changes that happen as you move out of your situation, and their feelings and responses.

The Freedom Programme

Parents moving away from an abusive relationship, can often be offered a place on a Freedom Programme course; which helps them understand how they (and their children) have been affected and how they can help them to move forwards to a more settled, calm, confident position.  The following are some of the agencies in Luton offering the Freedom Programme :

The Freedom Programme at Luton All Women's Centre

The Freedom Programme at Stepping Stones

Building Blocks Childrens Centre

Community Link Childrens Centre

Women's Aid in Luton

You can also sign up to do the Freedom Programme online via their website; a small charge is applicable.

Citizen’s Advice

We provide free, confidential and impartial advice on a range of issue including relationship, money, benefit, housing or employment problems. Search for local centre on-line.

Freedom Friends Luton

Offering the Freedom Programme in Lewsey Farm area. Contact: Wendy for more info

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Redgrave Children and Young People’s Centre

Redgrave Children and Young People's Centre is now the overarching name for various venues delivering services to families. The sites we cover are based at Redgrave Children & Young People’s Centre, Gill Blowers Nursery School (Leabank), Grasmere Nursery School, Limbury Community Centre and Cheynes Infants.

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Community Link Children’s Centre

Community Link Children’s Centre is now the overarching name for various venues delivering a variety of services to families including: Midwife & Baby Clinics, Strengthening families strengthening communities, Stay and play sessions, Post-natal depression groups, Young parents groups, Healthy eating and cooking, Mellow Parenting, Bump 2 Babe, Baby massage, Legal advice, Sing and sign, Adult learning, Weaning groups, Development checks, Freedom Programme and Dad's groups. The sites we cover are based at Leagrave Primary School, Gill Blowers Nursery School (Hockwell), Beechwood Primary School and Chaul End Community Centre.

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Polish Domestic Violence Helpline

Nowe Życie Bez Przemocy (A new life without violence) is a Polish website with information for victims of domestic violence living in the UK. The main purpose of the helpline is to provide Polish people who experience domestic violence with a confidential contact, which will allow them to talk about their situation in their native language and to obtain information about available help and support. It co-operates with English and Polish organisations and support groups with the aim of referring victims to them. The line is currently open on Tuesdays 10.00 - 12.00 and 13.00 - 15.00 and Wednesdays from 10.00 to 16.00

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National Stalking Helpline

The National Stalking Helpline responds to nearly 3,000 victims of stalking each year. A small team of highly trained staff and volunteers provide – by phone and email – information and guidance on the law, how to report stalking, gathering evidence, staying safe and reducing the risk.

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IDVA Service

Independent Domestic Violence Advisory Service for Luton providing free, independent and confidential support & advocacy for very high risk cases of domestic abuse or those where professional judgement is applied - referrals accepted from all statutory and non statutory agencies. Contact for advice or further details. Secure email address available for referrals.

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MInd BLMK Luton Wellbeing Centre

Mind BLMK offers a range of services aimed at meeting individual needs and promoting mental health recovery, wellbeing and independance. Offers mentoring and various activity groups such as cooking, computers, creative writing, relaxation and drop in time at the centre in Dumfries Street in Luton, LU1 5BP. Services are recovery-focused, this involves everyone who we support being assessed against specific criteria.

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This is Abuse

On-line information, chat, signposting and advice on support aimed at all young people. Part of the Home Office 'This is Abuse' campaign.

The Hideout

On-line information and support for children and young people living with domestic violence.

Freedom Programme

Training designed to teach women about the reality of domestic violence and abuse on themselves and their children. You can do the course online (charge applies), or find local provider. Also see information library entry on our professionals page

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