After participating in the Moms & Kids Group, my children don’t feel so alone anymore. They know they aren’t the only ones whose parents have this problem – other kids’ parents do, too.
– a Mom
Does domestic abuse affect children?
Many parents believe that they can shield their children from abusive incidents. The fact is, experts estimate that 87% of children living in homes with domestic abuse have witnessed violent acts and can often repeat exactly what happened. When domestic abuse is an issue, children are affected.
Look for these warning signs to see if domestic abuse is affecting your child. Does your child:
- have difficulty concentrating at school?
- have sudden mood swings and unpredictable behavior?
- experience separation anxiety from Mom or other family members?
- experience sleep disturbances or act afraid to go to bed at night?
- act out in an aggressive manner, curse or swear?
- appear unmotivated at school?
- fear abandonment and upheaval?
- lack self-esteem?
- withdraw from usual activities?
- want to please everyone and keep everyone happy?
If your child displays any of these warning signs, it is time to take action. Without intervention, children from abusive homes:
- are at an increased risk for developing physical, social, emotional, cognitive and behavioral problems
- are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol
- get sick more often and generally have more health problems
Helping Children Heal
It is important that child witnesses of domestic abuse find healthy ways to cope with their family’s experiences. Family Shelter Service can assist you to help your children heal.
The Children’s Program includes:
- Individual and group counseling for children
- The Moms & Kids Group, an interactive group for mothers and their children
The goals of the program include helping children to:
- strengthen their self-esteem
- learn alternatives to violent behavior
- realize that they are not to blame for the violence
- learn to protect themselves
To ensure that children receive the support they need, mothers will also participate in the program to:
- learn about domestic abuse and its effect on children
- discover personal strengths and develop goals
- improve parenting and communication skills with their children
The Children’s Program allows families to spend quality time together, away from the stress of an abusive home, so they can begin the process of healing and plant the seeds for a strong and healthy future.