FOR PARENTS

If your child has experienced, witnessed, or lost a loved one to domestic violence, you must take action. Now.

Your child needs your help. Other children need your help.

Silence enables and perpetuates childhood domestic violence (CDV).

Your son or daughter may be terrified to discuss this trauma with you.

What then?

If you are the perpetrator of the violence against your child, do not become defensive. Do not sweep this life-altering trauma under the rug.

If you have a close relationship with the perpetrator of the violence against your child, do not become defensive. Do not sweep this life-altering trauma under the rug.

Every time you read about a mass-shooter, you’ll hear the same story: the suspect had an early-childhood trauma. This is no coincidence.

If you have a friend, relative, or coworker — man or woman — who continues to end up in abusive relationships, there’s an exceedingly high probability that he or she is still traumatized from unresolved childhood domestic violence.

Without education and the proper psychological treatment, your victimized son or daughter will harbor and internalize this trauma and can be scarred for life — and, worse, likely become a violent teen and/or adult, and unwittingly seek abusive relationships.

Childhood domestic violence (CDV) is pervasive in America but rarely discussed anywhere. CDV, according to the Childhood Domestic Violence Association (CDV.org) and UNICEF, impacts more than 15-million American children in the United States and over 40 million adults, who experienced it as children. Now considered a global public-health crisis, CDV affects one-billion people, including 275-million children.

Many children grow up in homes 1) experiencing physical, verbal, or emotional abuse — from parents, stepparents, significant others of parents, relatives, and caregivers; 2) witnessing it between their parents or between their parents and other family members and friends; or 3) losing  friends or family members to it.

A child who merely witnesses CDV, a situation too often overlooked, is a secondary victim and often suffers in silence, as if experiencing the trauma directly. Such a child can be as likely in the future as a primary victim to turn to violence and seek abusive relationships.

CDV victims are six times more likely to commit suicide, 50-percent more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol, and 74-percent more likely to commit a violent crime.

CDV is the single best predictor of whether children will become either perpetrators or willing victims of domestic violence later in life.

Denial, fear, and shame allow CDV to be passed on from one generation to another. As long as this is so, CDV will continue to affect generations of families.

You can help break this pernicious chain.

The first step to healing is honesty.

Stop the denial. Be honest. Admit to yourself the childhood domestic violence that exists or existed in your life, wherever it is or was, whomever it afflicts or afflicted.

The second step to healing is education.

Based on randomized surveys conducted annually by the Childhood Domestic Violence Association (CDV.org), fewer than 15 percent of American adults are aware of CDV. Widespread education, therefore, will jumpstart the learning and healing processes. Know the facts, and share this website with as many people as possible.

The third step to healing is taking action.

Get your child some psychological counseling. In addition, if your child is between three and eight years old, he or she will find our Hope Bear extremely comforting.

Moreover, make a donation so that many children can benefit from the therapeutic features of our Hope Bears. Donate at least $25 to get a free Hope Bear for a child you love.

Project Hope Bear is an IRS-approved 501(c)(3) charitable organization. EIN=830570676. Your donation is tax-deductible.