Devon Helps Teens Who Witness Violence
Devon's launching specialist courses to stop teenagers repeating violence or abuse they have witnessed in the past.
They will be some of the first in the country to get this type of help.
The LINX programme will work with young offenders aged between 12 and 18 who are more prone to aggression, some of whom may have been abused themselves or have witnessed domestic violence or abuse, plus others who may not have experienced this, but have difficulty coping with their temper and forming so-called 'positive relationships'.
Shocking statistics show that on average, victims of domestic violence experience 35 incidents of violence before seeking help and in 90% of incidents, children are present or in the next room.
A number of studies have shown a link between experiencing domestic violence as a child and later violent behaviour, which can go on to develop into future domestic violence as an adult.
The LINX programme was developed by The Hampton Trust , a youth charity that works to break the cycle of domestic violence. It's been brought to Devon in partnership with the Youth Offending Team and adva (Against Domestic Violence and Abuse).
Sarah Carlsen-Browne who co-ordinates the programme for the entire county has said:
"LINX works by helping young people make the connection between their experiences, feelings and their behaviour. [It's] a participation based programme which by discussing issues in a safe environment, we can support change and challenge some of the more negative and risky behaviour in young people."