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CODA - Children overcoming domestic abuse

AVA are market leaders in training on gender based violence and abuse, through the adaption of the Canadian Community Group/CODA model they have ensured their place as a specialist in the VAWG and children’s sectors. Through expert adaptation this course trains individuals to facilitate the 12 week programme.

This network aims to connect existing and future users of the model whilst expanding the reach of the programme, therefore improving the lives of more children and mothers. We are excited to bring together organisations and individuals who wish to deliver this method of healing and allow development, collaboration and sharing best practice.

CODA is for children, young people and their mothers who have experienced domestic violence. They provide a community based setting to share and talk about their experiences.

The Community Group/CODA model was originally developed in Canada. AVA has the endorsement of the Canadian authors to adapt and roll out the model in the UK.

The model is based around a programme of sessions for children aged 4 -21 (the children are divided into age-specific groups) which run for two hours a week over a twelve-week period.

The programme addresses the following core issues

  • validation of the children’s experiences
  • understanding abuse
  • reducing self-blame
  • safety planning
  • managing appropriate and inappropriate expressions of emotion
  • the mother-child relationship.

The programme offers concurrent group sessions for the children’s mothers. They are supported to understand how the violence has impacted on their child and how best to help them through the healing process.


CODA was evaluated by Middlesex University. Their final report can be found here.

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