Children's Services

 

True or False?

 Children who are not abused, directly, are not affected by domestic violence

 

*False*

Witnessing Domestic Violence in the home has a significant impact on children’s emotional, cognitive, and behavioral development – even if they are not directly abused.

 

Effects of Domestic Violence on Children include:

 

  • Worry and confusion, leading to anxiety

  • Distrust of others – social fears & isolation, over-compliance

  • General aggressiveness – acting out learned behavioral patterns

  • Difficulties getting along with peers

  • Fear of or lack of respect for authority figures

  • Low self-esteem, lack of self-worth and self-confidence

  • Behavioral regression: baby talk, thumb sucking, bedwetting, etc.

  • Shortened attention span, trouble listening/paying attention, trouble remembering things

  • Role reversal: feeling responsible for the care and safety of others in the home

 

The effects of Domestic Violence can follow children into their futures – Children who have grown up with violence in their home are affected in various ways throughout their lives. The effects of Domestic Violence often lead to:

 

  • Poor impulse control: confusion of right and wrong, leading children/teens to make poor choices like stealing, acting out, truancy, and even drug & alcohol use or promiscuity

  • Becoming bullies and/or getting in physical or verbal altercations

  • Significant changes in school performance and academic functioning

  • Continuing the cycle of abuse in their own relationships as either the victim or the perpetrator

How DVCCC Can Help

DVCCC is dedicated to providing a safe, rich, environment for domestic violence survivors and their dependent children. It is our goal to assure the future of these children will not be clouded by the violence which occurred in their past.

 

The DVCCC Children's Program provides individual and group counseling, along with recreational activities. The focus is to provide a space the children can feel safe to explore feelings that effect daily living and regain a sense of safety and acceptance.

 

Some topics commonly addressed in counseling sessions with children include:

 

  • Adjusting to change: transition into a new environment, new family dynamics, etc.

  • Identifying, labelling, and appropriately expressing emotions

  • Self-esteem, self-respect, self-confidence, & self-worth

  • Respecting others: healthy relationships and friendships

  • Dealing with bullies & problem-solving during conflict

  • Health & Safety

  • Goals, choices, and consequences

  • Identifying and utilizing appropriate coping skills

 

 

Children’s Support Groups

 

In conjunction with the adult support group (on Wednesday evenings from 6:30 pm until 8:00 pm), there is also a children’s group held. This group provides a multidisciplinary approach to counseling, encouraging participation in a variety of activities to empower children to communicate with and support one another, while introducing them to various healthy coping skills. Examples of activities and guests include:

 

  • Arts & Crafts with educated mentors

  • Music therapy and musical exploration

  • Healthy recipe cooking activities

  • Yoga with certified instructors

  • Mindfulness activities

  • Visits from certified therapy animals

  • Writing and literacy

  • Team-building exercises

  • Safety planning with local law enforcement officers

  • And many more!

 

In addition to the direct work with the children, the DVCCC Children's Program also works with the parents in our Shelter, Transitional Housing, and Counseling programs to assist them in addressing their children's emotional needs. Some examples include helping parents with understanding children's reactions to abuse, non-violent disciplinary techniques, understanding child development, referring parents and children to schools and social service agencies as appropriate.

 

If you would like more information about this or any of our programs, please call our office at 610-431-3546 and use option “1” for counseling & housing.

Call our 24-hour, free hotline 888-711-6270 or 610-431-1430

If you are in immediate danger, DIAL 911

If you are in immediate danger and cannot call,

TEXT 911 if you are in Chester County

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Last update: 9/30/19

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