If you are in danger right now
Call the Children’s Helpline
Hey kids, do you ever feel like this?
You feel worried and sad, and maybe sometimes angry, about your family.
Your stomach is in a knot when you go home and both parents are there.
You are afraid to bring friends home in case one parent is in a bad mood.
You sometimes feel that you have to protect one parent from the other.
Do you live in a family where
One parent acts in a way that scares the other parent? Are you afraid of them too?
One parent has hurt the other? (For example, hitting, kicking, pulling hair, throwing things?)
One parent stops the other from going out and having friends?
One parent is always the boss?
One parent threatens the other? (For example, says they will hurt the other or take the kids away?)
One parent won’t let the other have any money?
One parent says hurtful things to the other? (For example, calling them stupid or lazy or worthless?)
One parent tries to get you to take sides against the other?
Things can be tough at home. Who can you talk to?
Did you know
How To Get Help
How To Stay Safe – You Need An Action Plan!
Here are some ideas for an Action Plan for Safety:
Plan somewhere you can go when things get scary at home. Do you know a neighbour?
Plan on having a way to get there. Even in your pajamas, just grab your shoes and go.
Keep the phone number of a trusted adult where you can always find it. Let them know ahead of time that you might call because you need them to come and get you.
Even relatives out of town can help in an emergency by calling someone else to help.
Dial O for operator and they will help you for free.
Keep enough money ($2) somewhere safe to make a call from a public phone.
Here are some ideas other children and youth have used to stay safe:
“I go to my friends’ houses a lot.”
“I call my grandma and ask her to come and pick me up.”
“I keep enough bus fare in my pocket to go to my uncle’s house.”
I know my Aunty’s phone number off by heart.
“When I’m really scared, I call 911.”
Remember: You Have The Right To Be Safe!
Children Who Witness Abuse
Some children feel responsible for the violence they witness. They may try to help by not saying how they feel and by trying to cope with the situation on their own. The effects on children who witness the abuse of their caregivers may include:
The goal of the CWWA Program is
To break the cycle of inter-generational abuse by focusing on the children of the family, to teach them non-violent ways of resolving conflict and begin healing the wounds inflicted upon them.The future is hopeful for these children, if they receive the right intervention.
CWWA Counselling is not intended as a crisis response to children who are still living in the abusive situation. The abusive person must be out of the household before the child begins CWWA counselling.
The CWWA Program provides
Individual and group counselling services for children aged 3 – 19 who have been exposed to the abuse of their caregiver, usually their mother.
We provide support to caregivers of children under 3 years old.
Information and support to the mother or other caregiver.
Groups and workshops for mothers and for grandparents who are raising grandchildren.
School-based education focusing on violence prevention.
The CWWA program helps children in the following ways
Other goals of the program include exploring the myths about violence and examining the role of violence in the media and its effects on children, as well as supporting children in improving social skills and school performance. The program works to clarify the child’s understanding of their experience and to learn new coping strategies.
How To Help A Child Who Has Witnessed Abuse
When children see their mother being hurt they may learn that
- Violence is OK.
- Violence works to get you what you want.
- Violence is a way to solve problems.
- Violence is a normal part of relationships.
- Any distressing feeling can be expressed as anger.
- Women don’t deserve respect.
Mothers and other caregivers can help a child by
- Letting them know the abuse was not their fault.
- Letting them know it’s not their job to protect you.
- Helping them with a safety plan, in case it is needed again.
- Let them know that it is okay to love the abusive parent, even though they hate the abusive behaviour.
- Make sure they have the opportunity to talk about the abuse. If this is too uncomfortable for you, help them find someone they can talk to.
- Help them find safe ways to talk about feelings. Let them know it is normal to feel sad or angry about what has happened.
- Notice the positive steps your child is taking and make sure they know that you notice.
- Let them know what is happening and what to expect. They may feel worried about your safety and need to know when you will return home if you go out.
- Get support for yourself. It takes lots of patience to parent a child who is reacting to having witnessed abuse.