Abused children like baby Mia* need urgent medical care. Please give now.

Tragically we’ve seen family violence increase by a staggering 50% during COVID-19 lockdowns^.
For many babies and children, this means being trapped inside with their abuser, placing them at greater risk of harm. Family violence leaves a devastating impact on their lives - that's why we need you. Your support will help give them the intensive care they urgently need.

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With your amazing support, Barnardos can help vulnerable children heal from their trauma and look forward to a safer and brighter future. Your donation will help provide:

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Immediate and ongoing medical support for children like Mia such as appointments with a neurologist, optometrist or physiotherapist.

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Intensive support for foster carers so they have the skills and knowledge to care for vulnerable children with special needs, like Mia.

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Social and educational support to help vulnerable and abused children fulfil their potential.

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Crucial counselling and therapy to help children who have survived family violence cope with the devastating effects of their trauma.

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Barely clinging to life

At just six weeks old, baby Mia was fighting for her life in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

She had almost been beaten to death by her father. The vicious blows to her head had caused a bleed on Mia’s brain. But it was clear that the abuse was long-term. Partially healed breaks in her tiny bones showed Mia had been abused again and again.

Against all odds, Mia survived – but the bleed has left her with permanent brain damage. After a month in hospital she was placed in a foster home with experienced carer, Rebecca*.

"From the moment I first held Mia in my arms the brain damage was obvious,” said Rebecca. “She had a very floppy head, and she was constantly dribbling and choking on phlegm. Feeding Mia can be very scary – she can’t swallow properly and chokes on almost every mouthful. I have to watch her round the clock. But she has the most beautiful smile, and everyone just loves her."

Children like Mia face massive challenges because of their traumatic start to life. They need a tremendous amount of specialised, tailored support on their journey to recovery.

Your generosity will help give them the greatest chance to overcome their abuse and begin to heal.

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*Models used and names changed to protect privacy.
^New Domestic Violence Survey in NSW Shows Impact of COVID-19 on the Rise – Women’s Safety NSW, 2020

strip The impact of trauma on developing brains

Even without head injuries, the trauma of living through family violence can have a severe impact on a child’s brain development**:

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Delays in language and speech development

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Difficulty regulating emotions and behaviour

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Compromised attention and memory

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Difficulty understanding social situations

**www.aifs.gov.au/cfca/publications/effect-trauma-brain-development-children

Children like Mia need compassionate people who care about them and are willing to make a difference to their lives. With you behind them, these children can begin to recover and look forward to a safer and brighter future.

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