Domestic Abuse, Recovering Together (DART™) Helping children and mothers after domestic abuse

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Mothers who have lived with an abusive partner can lose sight of their children's physical and emotional needs. And children can find it hard to talk to their mothers about what has happened. They may start acting out the abusive, threatening or controlling behaviour they’ve witnessed.

Through Domestic Abuse, Recovering Together (DART™), children and their mothers can talk to each other about domestic abuse, learn to communicate and rebuild their relationship. They can meet other children and mothers who have lived through similar experiences, and share what they have learned.


How it works

Every week, mothers and children aged 7-14 meet for a 2-hour group session. We work with each group for 10 weeks. 

Children and mothers work together for an hour at the start of the group, then take part in activities in separate groups. At the end of each session, they join together again.

Women learn more about:

  • how domestic abuse happens
  • how it affects children.

They’ll also explore experiences and strategies that can be used as a parent.

Children take part in activities together which help them build their own understanding of domestic abuse, how they’re feeling and how to keep themselves safe.

Children and mothers who attended DART™ felt it helped their recovery and their relationship, according to interim evaluation findings.


Around 1 in 5 children have been exposed to domestic abuse.

Explanation: Figures based on findings from 11-17 year olds. 17.5% said they had been exposed to domestic abuse between adults in their home (see p. 47).

Children's stories

"At the first session I got to meet other young people... I started to feel a bit more normal and realised for the first time that I wasn’t alone."

Read JB's story

Evaluating the impact

Find out how we evaluated Domestic Abuse, Recovering Together and how we can help you deliver it in your area.

Learn more

Where DART™ is available

Foyle, NI

02820 441 753


Who DART™ is for.

Find out more

Better outcomes for more children

How we're supporting partners to deliver our services.

Scale-up Unit

Caring Dads: Safer Children

Helping fathers see the impact their violent behaviour has on their children and how they can make positive changes for the future.
Caring Dads: Safer Children service

Family Environment: Drug Using Parents (FEDUP)

Protecting children living with adult drug and alcohol misuse.
FEDUP - Family Environment: Drug Using Parents service


Support and life skills for children who live with mums or dads with mental health difficulties.
Family SMILES service

Donate now

Last year a third of all calls to our helpline were about neglect, a figure that's even higher at Christmas. Donate now and help shine a light on children left in the dark.

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Domestic abuse

Witnessing domestic abuse is child abuse, and teenagers can suffer domestic abuse in their relationships. 
Read more about domestic abuse

Physical abuse

Physical abuse is deliberately hurting a child causing injuries such as bruises, broken bones, burns or cuts.
Read more about physical abuse


Neglect is the ongoing failure to meet a child's basic needs. It's dangerous and children can suffer serious and long-term harm.
Read more about neglect

Child abuse and neglect

Find out what child abuse is, how to spot the signs, who is affected and what you should do if you're worried about a child
More on abuse and neglect

Donate now

Last year a third of all calls to our helpline were about neglect, a figure that's even higher at Christmas. Donate now and help shine a light on children left in the dark.

Donate now

Are You There?

We're calling on the government to help our Childline service be there for every child dealing with meantal health issues. 

Learn more