For many children who may have experienced or witnessed domestic violence in their homes, having a safe, structured environment where they can process their feelings and be heard can be quite beneficial. We know that the effects of domestic violence on children can be devastating, sometimes leading to problems such as low self-esteem, behavior issues, or even depression.Meeting simultaneously with our survivor’s peer support group, our children’s group offers a space for the children of these survivors to participate in healing art activities, talk about their experiences, and give and receive peer support. Our goal is for the children to come into a safe, warm environment that is free of judgment. The group incorporates “A Window Between Worlds”, a model that uses art as a healing tool. The goal of engaging in art is to encourage self-expression, empowerment, and self-esteem.In addition to art, the children engage in opening and closing circle time. Recognizing the need for children to come into a warm environment that is free of judgment, our opening circle provides the children comfort in knowing that creative expression is encouraged here and that no one will judge another person’s artwork. Group agreements are also created and modeled as they are an important part of creating a safe and nurturing environment. One example of a group agreement given during the opening circle is “Everyone’s artwork is good.” Non-violence and healthy relationship-building are also constant themes that are incorporated throughout the group process to encourage the children’s healing.To support our work through the Children’s Program, please consider donating to W.O.M.A.N., Inc. today. Your gift will help dozens of children who have witnessed domestic violence to heal and begin living peaceful, violence-free lives.
CC image courtesy of Kate Hiscock, http://www.flickr.com/people/slightlyeverything
To support programs like our Children’s Program, please consider making a donation!