Helping Children Cope With Domestic Violence

Helping Children Cope With Domestic Violence

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Breaking the cycle of violence by supporting children who witness #domesticviolence in their homes via @MaryKay Fndn

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Monday, February 23, 2015 - 4:00pm

CAMPAIGN: A Commitment to Ending Domestic Violence


This week’s blog post is by Marie Robinson, Executive Director for the Wings of Hope Family Crisis Center. She shares how her Oklahoma shelter is using grant money from The Mary Kay Foundation℠ to make a difference for children.

To break the cycle of violence, we must support children who witness domestic violence in their homes.

That’s why we’re using grant money from The Mary Kay Foundation℠ to establish a play therapy center within our shelter.

In 2014, 57 percent of our residents were children. Eighty percent of those children reported seeing at least one parent abusing the other on more than one occasion.

My heart breaks every time I hear a child describe seeing his or her mother beaten, dragged, slapped or choked by the father.

Many of these children show symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that may affect them for the rest of their lives if not treated.

  • Feelings of guilt
  • Fear of abandonment
  • Confusion
  • Anger
  • Embarrassment
  • Low self-esteem
  • Lack of trust
  • Acting out or withdrawing
  • Excessive attention seeking behaviors
  • Isolation from friends
  • Bedwetting
  • Nightmares
  • Anxiety
  • Exhaustion
  • Hyperactivity
  • Self-abuse

Our mission is to provide safety, hope and empowerment for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. Safety includes physical safety as well as emotional safety, which comes via counseling and therapy for both moms and children.

Research indicates those who receive counseling and therapy show significant improvement with PTSD symptoms.

Our play therapy center has specific art and play therapy toys like a sand tray, puppets, figurines, games and other tools to help children express their thoughts and feelings. We have three licensed therapists who work with children.

In our county, law enforcement responds to more than 2,000 domestic-related calls per year. Most of these homes include children. From 2013 to 2014, the need for domestic violence services doubled in our county.

Our goal is to continue empowering women and supporting children. We will continue to prevail with the support of funders such as The Mary Kay Foundation℠.