Domestic Violence & Children
Children who witness and experience domestic violence are often overwhelmed with emotions they can’t make sense of. Traumatic events during childhood can cause physical and/or emotional problems that can last a lifetime. Therefore, it’s extremely important for parents to provide their children with specialized care. At Genesis House, our child advocate works with children who have witnessed or have experienced domestic violence understand that they are not alone and help them develop healthy coping skills to survive the experience.
Our child advocate provides a consistent, predictable, safe, and nurturing atmosphere for children residing at the shelter. She is able to focus on specific aspects of the trauma children have experienced. By working one-on-one or in groups with children, she is able to alleviate some of the post-traumatic symptoms such as extreme anxiety, impulsiveness, withdrawnness, depressed behavior, and sleep difficulties.
Our child advocate also facilitates an art program for children in our shelter and out in the community. Our art program gives children the chance to learn ways to express feelings honestly and directly, to improve their self assurance, increase understanding of how violence affects our lives, and learn how to be responsible for their own actions. Children who participate in our program learn safety planning and activities to help strengthen their self-esteem.
What topics are covered by the Genesis House art program?
Forms Of Abuse & Safety Planning
Grief & Loss
Art & Children
Because of their limited vocabulary, children may struggle to articulate their thoughts and emotions. For victims of abuse, art is a way to “tell without talking”. Art is also a sensory-based approach that allows children to express themselves in different ways.
Who is eligible to participate in Genesis House's art program?
Any Child who has witnessed or experienced domestic violence and is between the ages of 5 and 12 can take part in the program.
How long does the art program last?
Each meeting lasts around 1 hour and 15 minutes. The child will usually complete the program after 5 meetings. However, the length of the program can be tailored to meet the needs of each family.
For Questions, Or To Register Your Child In Our Program Contact:
(440)-244-1853 or (440)-323-3400
Did You Know?
In 2010, 1 in 15 children in the US were exposed to intimate partner violence for a total of more than 5 million children.
Witnessing Intimate partner violence is associated with other forms of violence. 1 in 3 children who witnessed domestic violence were also child abuse victims.
In 43% of domestic violence incidents with female victims, children are residents of the households where the incident occurred.
Children's immediate reaction to experiencing domestic violence include: generalized anxiety, sleeplessness, aggression, difficulty concentrating, nightmares, high levels of activity, and separation anxiety.
Abusive partners use children to control victims. Abusive partners often threaten to gain sole custody, kill, kidnap or otherwise harm children if victims leave.
Children who have been exposed to domestic violence can become fearful and anxious, concerned for themselves, siblings and their parents. They may begin to feel worthless and powerless.
Children who witness or experience violence at home are three times more likely than their peers to perpetuate the cycle of abuse and engage in violent behavior into adulthood.
Source: National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (2015) Domestic Violence and Children. Retrieved from .
Resources for working with children who have experienced domestic violence:
The NCTSN (National Child Traumatic Stress Network) Domestic Violence Group developed this series, drawing on the experiences of domestic violence survivors, research findings, and reports from domestic violence program advocates and mental health professionals.