It’s that time of year again, when we take stock of our lives and promise to do better in the year to come. For some, a New Year’s resolution means hitting the gym, getting a solid eight hours of shut-eye a night, or trying to eat less cheese. For us, it means making 2018 the year children and young people affected by domestic violence are supported, protected and have their voices heard.

Children have long been the silent, forgotten victims of domestic violence. A child living in an abusive home will be profoundly affected by that abuse, even if they are not physically harmed themselves. We believe that a new year calls for new thinking around how we support those children and young people. The first step is to listen to what children and young people have to say, and to join forces to share expertise from the UK, Ireland and beyond. That’s why we are hosting a national Children & Domestic Violence conference on 7th–8th February in Belfast.

We feel the time is right (or, rather, overdue) to put the needs of children and young people front and centre. It is time to have those difficult conversations to ensure that no child falls through the cracks or is failed by the system. It is time to listen to what children and young people have been telling us about what needs to change. It is time to pool our expertise, as support workers, social workers, youth workers, health professionals, educators and decision-makers, to make life better for some of our most vulnerable children.

We don’t want the #SeeHearAct conference to be a one-off event. We want to stick to our New Year’s resolution and use these two days to kickstart something bigger – a movement for change and progress. But we can’t do it alone. Will you join us in making 2018 a great year for children and young people?

To register for the conference, check out our Eventbrite page.

Alternatively, drop us an email at seehearact@womensaidni.org to chat about group discounts, student bursaries and invoicing options.