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.

PEACE Programs

PEACE (Prevention, Education, Advocacy, Counselling and Empowerment) programs (formerly Children Who Witness Abuse programs) provide group and individual counselling for children ages 3 – 18 who have witnessed abuse, threats or violence in the home.

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