Programs for Children Who Witness Abuse

Children often feel caught in the middle between their parents when there is abuse in the relationship, and find it difficult to talk to either parent.

Some of the programs and services listed here provide individual and group interventions, aimed at helping youth and children (3-18 years) to understand and cope with violence against their mother and the effects of this violence on themselves.

Children Who Witness Abuse (CWWA) Programs

The goals of the CWWA program are to: break the generational impact of violence; support children and youth exposed to abuse with developing self-esteem and awareness of safety concerns; and help them understand their own emotions and to understand the dynamics of violence against women in relationships. Counsellors in the program also provide support and information to mothers and non-offending caregivers.

For more information & how to register: BC Society of Transition Houses

Children and Youth Mental Health (CYMH) Programs

Child and Family Service offices throughout BC provide direct and contracted community-based mental health services to children, youth under the age of 19 and their families on a voluntary basis.  Program staff typically include:

  • psychologists
  • social workers
  • counsellors with masters degrees
  • and nurses.

Staff members provide services for the client, such as assessment and planning, treatment, management of community issues, and consultation with individuals involved with the client.

Sexual Abuse Intervention Program (SAIP)

This service is provided under the mandate of the BC Ministry for Children and Family Development. The overall goal of this program is to provide a range of appropriate, timely and accessible assessment, treatment and/or support services to children and youth who have been sexually abused, and to children under the age of 12 with sexual behaviour problems.

For more information: Contact a Child and Family Service Office

BC Children’s Hospital Child and Youth Mental Health Program

A provincial resource providing psychiatric assessment, short-term treatment (including individual, family and group services), and medication review for B.C. and Yukon children, youth, and their families. Support is available for:

  • eating disorders
  • mental health and substance use
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorders
  • mood and anxiety disorders
  • and more.

Referrals for children and youth 18 years of age and younger are accepted.

For more information: BC Children's Hospital Mental Health Services

Kids Help Phone

Call the Kids Help Phone at 1 800 668-6868. Counsellors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Confidential, anonymous and free. For more information visit their website.

Children who Witness Abuse

Children Who Witness Abuse Counselling Programs provide individual and group counselling services for children who witness abuse of a parent and is designed to help break the intergenerational cycle of violence. Call VictimLink BC at 1-800-563-0808 for more information

Reporting Child Abuse

If you think a child or youth under 19 years of age is being abused or neglected, you have the legal duty to report your concern to a child welfare worker.

Phone 1 800 663-9122 at any time of the day or night.

Youth Against Violence

Youth wanting to talk one-on-one about their safety or the safety of others can call or email a Youth Against Violence support worker 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in a confidential, multilingual service. Call 1-800-680-4264 or email

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