services & programs
Children and Domestic Violence: For children who witness domestic violence, home is not a safe or happy place. Every year as many as 3.3 million American children see or hear their mothers being hit, pushed, kicked, thrown down stairs, verbally abused, or murdered. The effects of what they witness can be devastating and long lasting.
Witnessing domestic violence causes physical and emotional harm to children. Children may feel frightened, anxious, depressed, or angry. Often they feel guilty, as if somehow it was their fault. Some children feel withdrawn, while others become aggressive, copying the abuser's behavior. They may feel pressure to choose which parent to love, or feel torn between love and anger toward the abuser.
Child Sexual Abuse: Most professionals start by defining child sexual abuse as any sexual contact between an adult and child. It might also mean sexual activity between an older and a younger child. Sometimes the abuser uses physical force, and sometimes the abuser tricks the child with threats or treats. The sex abuser is most often someone a child knows and trusts: a babysitter, an older child, a teacher, a family friend or relative - even a parent or step-parent.
By most estimates, 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 7 boys are sexually abused by the time they turn 18.
Children's Program: Although the effects of sexual abuse or witnessing domestic violence can be traumatic and long lasting, children are resilient. With proper support, children can heal and grow in healthy ways. VIBS children's program provides counseling to children ages 3 ½ - 12. Through play, art, or drama therapy, the child and therapist interact, using toys, games, stories and other creative materials. The goal is to reinforce safety, comfort and coping skills. These services are available to children who have lived with domestic violence or who have been sexually abused by a family or non-family member.
The children's program also provides childcare/play groups while mothers participate in counseling. Here, children have fun in a safe environment and practice caring social skills.
Specialty with witnesses of severe violence: VIBS specializes in counseling for children who have witnessed or are affected by severe violence, such as:
Support VIBS' work
"I was so scared and confused.
I thought it was only happening to me"