Presentation on theme: "Connect: Supporting Children Exposed to Domestic Violence"— Presentation transcript:
1Connect: Supporting Children Exposed to Domestic Violence
2Agenda Welcome and Introductions Family Dynamics and Domestic Violence What Children ExperienceParenting and Supporting Children Affected by DV
3Introductions Tell us your name And share a nickname you’ve been called (or wouldn’tmind being called!)
4Getting Started Read the question on the card and share it with your groupDiscuss the questionDevelop a two sentence response in 5 minutesShare your question and response with thelarge group
5What do you think? #1 Why is it important for resource families to knowabout domestic violence?#2 How would you feel about a child if youlearned that s/he lived in a home wheredomestic violence occurred?
6What do you think?#3 How would you feel about a child’s birth parents if youlearned that the child came from a home wheredomestic violence took place? Would you feeldifferently about the victim parent versus the abusiveparent?
7What do you think? #4 How might you support children who have experienced domesticviolence differently thanother children?#5 In what ways are domestic violence andchild maltreatment connected?
8Family Violence refers to violence between any family members such as:intimate partner violence(also known as domestic violence)abuse of a parent by a childelder abusesibling abusechild maltreatment
9Domestic and dating violence are NOT just physical or sexual assault! Patterns of coercive and controlling behaviors perpetrated by an adult or teen against an intimate partner.Domestic and dating violence are NOTjust physical or sexual assault!
10A Few Statistics… One in four women report experiencing violence in an intimate relationship at some point in their life (Centers for Disease Control, 2008)15.5 million children live in households where domesticviolence has occurred within the past year (McDonald et al, 2006)62% of year olds say they know friends who have beenverbally abused by a boyfriend or girlfriend (Liz Claiborne, Inc, 2008)One in five year olds say they know friends and peers who have been struck in anger by a boyfriend or girlfriend (Liz Claiborne, Inc, 2008)
11Why do Men use Violence In Intimate Partner Relationships? Some ideas people have:•to establish control•acting out culturally designated roles•mirroring violence in society•because they can get away with itit is learned behaviorRemember: Not every act of violence betweentwo intimate partners is domestic violence. DV isnot an isolated incident, but a pattern of coerciveand controlling behavior.
12Power and Control Wheel What are otherexamples for eachsection on thePower andControl Wheel?
14Why might it be difficult to work with parents who are victims or perpetrators of domestic violence?
15Remember: Where can you find help in your community? DV situations can be hard for anyone to manage.It’s good to seek help and emotional support.Where can you find help in your community?
16Exposure to Domestic Violence: Not all children are affected by domestic violence in the same way.
17Examples of How Children are Exposed hearing threats of physical harmfeeling tension building in home prior to assaultbeing hit/threatened while in mother’s armshearing/seeing assault on their motherbeing denied care because mother is injured or depressedbeing forced to watch or participate in violence against their motherseeing aftermath of violent incidenthaving their relationship with their non-violent parent underminedbeing taken hostage to force mother to return homebeing enlisted by violent parent to align against motherexperiencing the loss of a parent due to murder/suicide
18Factor: The Child’s Age The younger the child, the more harmful the impact may be.
19Factor: The Child’s Developmental Stage Exposure to domestic violence can affect thetasks or milestones of the particular child’sstage of development.
20Factor: Severity, Proximity, Duration and Frequency of Exposure A child directly exposed to extreme, ongoing and/or frequent violence is more likely to be seriously emotionally harmed.
21Factor: The Child’s Gender Boys and girls may be affected differently
22Factor: The Child’s Role in the Family Children exposed to domestic violencetake on different roles in families that may change over time.CaretakerConfidantAssistantOverachiever/ “perfect”RefereeScapegoat
23Factor: Personal Characteristics of the Child Some children have a strong sense of self and are able to weather their exposure to violence by drawing on internal strength.
24Factor: Presence or absence of loving, supportive adults The single most critical factor in how children weather exposure to domestic violence is the presence of at least ONE loving andsupportive adult in their life.That ONE adultmay be YOU!!
25Factor: Responsiveness of systems Knowledgeable and skilled professionals who understand and respond effectively to families can play a significant role in how children are impacted.
26What are some of the FEELINGS and BEHAVIORS that children in your care have displayed?
27The impact of exposure to domestic violence on infants and young childrenmay show up as…•low birth weight•exaggerated startle response•somatic complaints•regression in toileting or language•sleep disturbances•difficulty attaching to caregiver•hyper-vigilance•separation anxiety•eating disorders
28In school-aged children: Some kids “over-control” theiremotions or behaviors(these are internalized effects ofexposure to DV). Thesechildren “hold things in”.Some kids “under-control” theiremotions or behaviors (these areexternalized effects of exposureto DV). These kids are more likelyto explode, act up or act out.They cannot manage their impulses.
29A good way to understand the effects of DV on children is to look at their drawings. An eight-year-old was asked to draw a picture of his father. He wrote in Spanish: “This is how I see my father because he often gets angry and drunk and his eyes turn red.”
30For adolescents, exposure to DV can result in kids being more likely to . . .Use drugs or alcoholBe harmed when they intervene in an assaultDisplay attitudes supporting the use of violenceUse violence in their own intimate relationships
31Another example of adrawing in response to theQuestion “How do you seeyour father?”In this case, the artist isa 13-year-old boy.
32What Does Trauma Look Like? Children who may need professional help:Cry easily or constantlyAppear emotionless or extremely withdrawnHave repeated or intrusive thoughts about the eventHave trouble sleeping and/or nightmaresBe “triggered” by a sound, smell, or other reminder of the experienceHave difficulty concentratingWorry excessively leading to physical complaints (i.e. stomachaches)
33Questions: Which of these effects in children are easier for you to handle as a parent? Why?Which of these effects “drive you crazy”or makes it hard for you to parent? Why?
35Resource Parents Need to Know Many children will worry about their mothers safetyand will miss their familyTender loving care (TLC) is important but may notalways be enoughChildren need to move from unpredictable dangerto reliable safetyRelationships may be too close for comfortThere is no quick, easy fix
36Resource Parents can Support Children and Promote Healing •Create a predictable world•Add structure and clear expectations•Pay close attention to non-verbal cues•Avoid struggles for powerand controlModel healthy and respectfulrelationships
37Resource Parents can Support Children and Promote Healing Give children choices whenever possibleHelp children learn not only what not to do, but what to do insteadTeach children to put feelings into wordsValidate children’s feelings about their parentsCreate opportunities for children to be successful (i.e. sports, music, art, academics, peer relationships)Send the right messages
38Resource Parents can Support Children and Promote Healing •Prepare children for visitsAdvocate for children when theyneed help in other settings•Be respectful of the children’sparents•Have fun together!•Get support for yourself!
39Group Activity Read the case study Discuss the questions at the end of the case study as a groupPick a spokesperson to share with thelarge group
40You have the power to help children heal Final Questions?
41www.endabuse.org Thank you for your participation today! Please visit the Family ViolencePrevention Fund at