Therapy for Children who have been exposed to Domestic Violence:
Helping Children Heal: assessment, referral and crisis counseling services are available to children in residence at both crisis shelters for domestic violence victims. These services are also available to children exposed to intimate partner violence, who live in areas served by the Sparrow Run Family Resource Center. The services are provided by a community therapist for children.
Healing Children Heal is a service of the Domestic Violence Treatment Program (DVTP). It serves children between the ages of 4 and 18 who have been exposed to intimate partner violence. It also serves their caregivers.
Children are impacted by intimate partner violence in many ways. They experience confusion regarding conflicting information which they hear from parents, fear triggered by what they have witnessed, grief, at times when a parent is removed, stress from having to relocate, and an increased risk of being directly abused.
Working with children can be very different then working with adults. Because children do not have the expressive vocabulary or the neurological maturity necessary to process traumatic experience in an adult manner, it is even more necessary than with adults to employ expressive therapies including art therapy and play therapy. These therapies help children better identify and heal from the impact of traumatic experiences.
The parent/adult caregivers of the children are also part of the treatment team. They provide valuable information and insight into the behavior of the children. In addition, therapy staff provides the parent/caregivers with helpful tips on parenting children who have had exposure to intimate partner violence.
For further information contact Lauren Emhe, MSW at (302) 762-8989