It’s right there in the name of our organization — Women’s Resources exists to help women, and particularly women who have experienced violence, frequently by a partner or family member.
But there are often other vulnerable people who live with the violence second-hand: children. These might be small kids who’ve seen their dad hit their mum, or teenagers who’ve overheard a lifetime of belittling words.
Women’s Resources has programs to help children who have witnessed or been victims of abuse. These programs aim not only to give the kids caring support, but also to help them break the cycle of violence so they don’t grow up to inflict it on others.
When a child witnesses violent behaviour, it can result in emotional distress and behavioural problems as they act out what they’ve seen. They can take their internal upheaval out on others and on their own bodies, and may have trouble with schoolwork and friends.
The group programs at Women’s Resources give kids of any age a safe place to talk about what they’ve seen and endured. Participants learn how to manage their emotions and resolve conflicts without resorting to cruel words or physical violence.
Older kids, age 12 to 18, also have the opportunity to meet with a counsellor. They can talk through their fears about their relationships with their parents, abuse they may have experienced or witnessed, and how to avoid falling into the same harmful patterns in their own lives.
Our programs for children and youth are different now since COVID to ensure our clients and staff stay safe and healthy, but we can also assure you that we are ready to help.
Violence against women and children is a terrible reality in our community, but the caring, knowledgeable staff and volunteers at Women’s Resources are working to stop it now and for the future.
By Nancy Payne