Our Team

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How it all started

"Whilst working as a therapist in Cornwall I became aware of the need for a specialised service to help Children and Young People who had experienced or witnessed abusive relationships. Working with friends and colleagues we took into consideration the specific needs of Children and Young People compared with adult survivors of abusive relationships and began to define the service that is now known as CLEAR (Children Linked to and Experiencing Abusive relationships)".

We recognised that:
  • The service should be flexible to meet the differing needs of Children and Young People
  • The therapists should have specialist training and qualifications to work with Children and Young People
  • Our process should include evaluation to ensure that our interventions are effective and represent value
  • We should ensure that Children and Young People are directly involved in the development and running of the service
  • The service should comply with the BACP Ethical Framework

CLEAR was launched in September 2008 and thanks to the dedication and hard work of the CLEAR team the charity has worked with 1500 children in its first 7 years. In 2013 alone, 259 Children and Young People were referred to CLEAR.
We have now developed a Healthy Relationships program which is being rolled out to schools throughout Cornwall for children in years 8 to 11, the aim of which is to help children make appropriate choices in their future relationships. Through the HR program and our work with Children and Young People survivors, we hope to break the cycle of abuse and help Children and Young People to enjoy the happy and safe futures that they deserve.

Simon Carpenter, CEO and founder of CLEAR.

Some facts about abuse.

The reported incidence of domestic abuse and sexual violence is 26% higher in Cornwall than elsewhere in the country and represents around one third of the actual prevalence, estimated to amount to 19,300 incidents per year. Young people are particularly at high risk. Nationally, in 75% to 90% of incidents of domestic violence, children are in the same or next room and in 40-70% of cases where women are being abused, the children are also being directly abused themselves. Between 2009/10, 2845 children were resident at a house where abuse took place

  • In 2010/11 there were 1622 referrals of children as victims of domestic abuse or sexual violence in Cornwall (Source: Cornwall Children, Schools and Families Directorate).
  • Children impacted by domestic abuse are at increased risk of behavioural problems and mental health issues that continue into adult life.
  • Children of abused young mothers are 80% more likely to be obese by age five, in comparison with children whose mothers are not abused.
  • Domestic violence is present in two thirds of cases of child deaths.
  • 11% of boys and 21% of girls aged under 16 experience sexual abuse during childhood. 72% do not tell anyone about the abuse at the time. 27% tell someone later
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In Cornwall, the number of Children and Young People with Child protection plans is 34 per 10,000 - this is higher than the national average.

Abuse may be categorised as:
  • Emotional
  • Psychological
  • Physical
  • Sexual
  • Neglect

Breaking the cycle of abuse

The Children and Young People referred to CLEAR may be the survivors of direct abuse themselves or have witnessed abuse and violence at home. The abuse may be sexual, physical or emotional but in all cases, it has a devastating psychological impact upon the Children and Young People and their extended family. Furthermore, the non-abusing carers and family members may be affected by secondary trauma as they look after them.

CLEAR provides specialised therapies for Children and Young People aged between 0 and 18 years and we have recognised the need to integrate our activities to include the non-abusing carers. In doing so we will reduce the impact of secondary trauma on the family and help to promote resilience within the Children and Young People and family as a whole. This in turn will help to break the cycle of abuse where survivors are at increased risk of becoming abusers themselves, later in life.

We initially offer individual therapy with a counsellor/ psycotherapist who has specialist training in working with children and young people. As our therapists are trained to use a wide range of interventions we are able to select the type of work that will best suit the client. Individual skills include Art, Music, CBT, EMDR, Drama, Narrative, Play, Sand Tray, Didactic Attachment Therapy, Drama and Movement and Systemic Therapies.

The therapeutic intervention helps the Children and Young People to deal with feelings of blame, shame and guilt and to develop their self-esteem. Individual therapy and group work also help to nurture resilience and confidence in making good choices. These developments enable the Children and Young People to re-engage in schooling and building healthy relationships which in turn help them to reach their full potential in life.
Registered Charity Number 1165574