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24 Hour National Helpline: 0800 027 1234

CEDAR Programme

Children Experiencing Domestic Abuse Recovery

Cedar is a unique way of working with children, young people and their mothers who have experienced domestic abuse.

What is CEDAR?

The Cedar programme takes place over 12-15 sessions with groups for children, young people and their mothers running in parallel. The groups provide an opportunity to explore the experiences, understanding and feelings with an emphasis on providing fun and creative activities that keep children engaged and interacting with each other. It is about creating a safe place for children and their mothers to help each other to find the best strategies to deal with their experiences and rebuild their lives. A key aim of the programme is to help mothers to support their children in their recovery

Since working with you, my life has completely changed. I feel more confident than I’ve ever done before, I don’t feel guilty, and I don’t feel it was my fault.

Service User

Who is CEDAR for?

Cedar is a recovery programme for children and young people who have experienced domestic abuse. There are Cedar groups for children and young people and Cedar groups for their mums. Cedar is a voluntary programme and doesn’t cost anything to join.

Cedar may be right for you, your family, or a family you are working with if:

  • The child concerned is between the ages of 4 and 16 years old
  • The family – mother and children – are currently living safely away from the abuse and the abuser
  • The child concerned remembers their mother’s abuse and is able to speak about it in some way


Some children referred to Cedar may be feeling lonely, angry, scared, sad, frightened, worried or upset. That is okay, attending Cedar can help understand these emotions. Before anyone starts Cedar a professional coordinator will assess whether a child is ready for the programme.

What is domestic abuse?

It is abuse/bullying between intimate partners/ex partners, and it is usually one person doing it to another. You may be experiencing domestic abuse in your own home or in your own relationship. Examples of abuse could include some of  these... 

Physical… Punching, kicking, slapping, spitting, using weapons…  

Emotional… Harassing, threats, name calling, stalking, mind games, lies… 

Sexual… Unwanted sexual attention or touching, rape, unwanted use of pornography…  

Financial… withholding money, controlling someone so they can’t work, running up debt.. 

Who else will be in group 

 There will be up to 8 children/ young people in the group, around the same age as you. Everybody who takes part in the group will have experienced hurting & fighting/ domestic abuse in their family.  

There will also be 2 adult group workers how have experience of supporting children and young people with Domestic Abuse. The group is confidential, and no one will know that you are going to it unless you tell them.  

Your Mum will also be invited to come along to a group with other Mum’s which will help them to understand how you feel and what support you need to help you. 

We can also give you extra help if you need it on a 1-1 before, during or after group 

How could the CEDAR project help me?

Cedar can help you as you may have lived in a house where you have been scared and there has been hurting and fighting in your family. You may have seen people get hurt like your Mum or your brother or sisters or you may have got hurt yourself. Even though you may not live with the person that did that anymore it may still make you feel sad, angry, worried, confused and this is where Cedar can help:- 

 The CEDAR Project runs therapeutic groups that meet once a week for 12 weeks with activities and discussions that help you to… 

  • So, you don’t feel so alone
  • Understand what has happened in your family and that it is not your fault.
  • Talk to others who will listen and give you support with your experiences.
  • Support you to cope with your feelings 
  • Understand how to have healthy relationships with others in your life
  • Help you to feel safe now and in the future


Where will the group be, and when?  

Groups will take place locally in Perth after school. They will last for 1.5 hours. You will have the chance to take part in activities and make friends in a relaxed and supportive place in Perth. We can help with transport to get you to group. 

The group helped me understand my feelings and not to bottle them up. I learned it was not my fault. I felt better about myself and not alone or feeling ashamed anymore.

Service User

Useful Information

Below are some downloadable PDF cocuments with additional information.

How can we help you?

We strive to ensure that our services are easy to access throughout Perthshire and we provide tailored support to individual needs.

Success stories

We’re extremely grateful for those who have bravely shared the following stories, which highlight how we can help.

Your refuge gave me the first and only opportunity to escape the abuse my children and I were still part of. As I lived near the children’s father I felt I couldn’t escape them not seeing him, and after a year of being around him with the kids every Saturday my mental health completely plummeted.

Domestic abuse survivor

I cant believe how helpful Perth Womens Aid have been, if all organisations worked the way we do with a multi agency approach then outcomes for migrant women with no recourse to public funds who are fleeing abuse could be so different.

Service user

The refuge meant I could go no contact, get us all out of the misery and despair and start a new chapter of our lives together, safely.

Domestic abuse survivor

The refuge is our safe home, our sanctuary. The flat is beautiful, full of light, with thoughtful pictures, bedding, and so much more including a fabulous garden the boys enjoy running about where I can watch them safely.

Elizabeth Sofia

Honestly, the refuge was the only way we could escape and start living in much less fear, upset and pain.

Domestic abuse survivor

The boys love this flat, and don’t want to leave! The support has been incredible. You ALL make me feel part of a wider family and network of friends and support.

Domestic abuse survivor

The refuge allowed us to escape, and feel SAFE after several years of an abusive house.

Domestic abuse survivor

It's the first time in a long time that I have ever felt free if that makes any sense.

Domestic abuse survivor

It's the first time in a long time that I have ever felt free if that makes any sense.

Domestic abuse survivor

You saved my life.

Domestic violence survivor

For the first time in years I feel safe in my own home, I know how to protect myself.

Domestic abuse survivor

I would like to thank you. As a victim of abuse I found it really helpful and learned a lot. I can now recognise abusive personalities and avoid to put myself in abusive relationships in the future. It helped me understand what I’ve been living in and why it was so wrong. Also I have learned to see early signs of abuse. Thank you so much to Women’s Aid Perth for letting supporting me in my native language of Polish. There are so many women who will get benefit of it as they struggle with English and also talking about feelings in my own language is more comfortable.


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