The KidsOut Toy Box Service
The statistics around domestic violence and especially the involvement of children are shocking and disturbing. For children living with domestic violence, home is a place of fear and terror rather than the safe and secure place it should be.
Almost 18,000* children escaped the abusive situation and stayed in a domestic violence refuge in 2009/10, usually with their mothers. Each Year, after a period of around 6-12 months over 8,000 children will eventually be relocated to a new home in an unfamiliar area.
Moving into a strange community can be particularly tough for children – who have usually left home with nothing more than the clothes on their backs.
KidsOut, in conjunction with the Women’s Aid Federation, provides them with a box of brand new toys to help bring stability and fun into their lives when they need it most. The majority of these children have either witnessed or personally suffered serious abuse and/or violence.
Each Toy Box is filled with games to play, books to read and a teddy to cuddle which they can call their own. It gives children a sense of normality, making the world seem a kinder place where someone cares. It helps them settle in and make new friends, as they can invite other children home to play with their toys.
Thanks to the support from our partner FedEx and 260 refuges across the UK, KidsOut is able to send out Toy Boxes to thousands of these children.
*Taskforce on the Health aspects of violence against women and children (2010)
Real life account from Chloe, age 13
In conjunction with organisations such as the Survivors of Domestic Violence and Women's Aid, 4Children recently researched and published a report into domestic and family violence. KidsOut has added it to the website and it can be downloaded here.
1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.
Each year, over 8,000 children are relocated to an unfamilar area as a result of domestic violence.
On a typical day, 3615 women and 3580 children are residents in refuge accommodation*.
*50% of these children are aged under 5 years.