If you’re experiencing domestic violence, use this information to make a plan that works for you.
Children often imitate what they see
35% of domestic violence incidents attended by police have children present. (Victoria Police Crime Statistics 2010-2011)
In addition to the emotional, behavioural, psychological and health challenges, many children have to deal with the further upheaval of leaving their home and resettling in emergency or temporary accommodation.
Typically these children exhibit conflicting and unfamiliar emotions, confusion and grief at losing their home, friends, family, community, pets and school.
Poor school performance, disobedience and nightmares are also associated with children witnessing violence in their homes.
Research shows that exposure to domestic violence increases the risk of young boys becoming perpetrators of violence in the future.
Emerge’s art therapy program for children assists children to process and gain insight into their experience and thereby to break the cycle of violence. Guided by an art therapist, children explore themes such as safety, bullying, violence, inner strength and self-empowerment through a variety of different art media. Children who take part in the program experience enhanced wellbeing, greater self-esteem, improved school performance and a more secure sense of self. Importantly, they learn that violence does not have to define them.
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