An Evaluation of AVA Community Group Programmes for Children and Young People

Research Team: Dr Sevasti-Melissa Nolas, Dr Lucy Neville, Dr Erin Sanders

AVA (Against Violence & Abuse) – formerly GLDVP – is a national second tier service working to end all forms of violence against women and girls. AVA commissioned Middlesex University to evaluate the community group programmes they run in 32 London Boroughs. The psycho-educational group sessions focus on the children of mothers who have been victims of DV, and aims to help children move beyond the violence they have witnessed by allowing children the space to explore their feelings about the violence, and think practically about how to manage these feelings. A concurrent group for mothers is run at the same time as the children’s group, and helps mothers understand what the programme covers, thus enabling them to better support their children through the process. The evaluation will include interviews with project coordinators and project facilitators about the way the programmes are delivered, interviews with participating mothers and children about their feelings about the community groups, and an overall analysis of the role that follow-on community programmes such as this can have in helping victims of DV.