The definition of domestic abuse is changing; how does this help young people?
The Home Office has announced that is has widened the definition of domestic abuse in England and Wales.
The age classification will now incorporate a smaller age range of 16-17 whereas the old system was a simple division between children and over 18’s. It will also recognise a pattern of abuse over time rather than individual incidents, allowing psychological, emotional and financial abuse to be included.
The government hopes that by extending the age range they will also increase abuse awareness and encourage 16-17 year olds to seek support if they need it.
Our partners in Kisumu face similar challenges in Western Kenya, where they continue to support the needs of previously abused or neglected street children.
Kisumu is one of the largest cities in Kenya, but it is also one of its poorest. With about 60% of its population already living in slums, the urban poverty is growing with children suffering its impact the most.
Many children are put under a lot of pressure by their parents because of their financial drain, a pressure to leave school, a pressure to earn an income for their family and a pressure to go without, often causing them to run to the streets to stop feeling like such a burden.
Once on the street, children often face exploitation from the community who view them as nuisances and give them small tokens for their labours. The children are also facing an increasing risk of abduction and trafficking.
One of our partners, Kisumu Urban Apostolate Programmes (KUAP) however, has been making a real difference to these children’s lives; providing food, clothing, education and temporary shelters to some of these youths.
The programme also helps to reintegrate street children back into the family home, and offers psychological support and drama workshops to build their self-esteem.
KUAP also contributes to ending financial abuse by providing small loans to vulnerable women to set up new businesses, allowing them to support their children and take them back off the streets.
They also undertake a lot of advocacy work within the community, educating people about the importance of child rights.
To find out more about our work with street children in Kisumu, click here.