THE HOPE BEAR

Inspired by personal tragedy, Dr. Linda Olson offers families & children the keys to overcoming Childhood Domestic Violence (CDV) – a national crisis affecting the lives of one out of every seven people in the US.

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.

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.

Enter the trademarked, patented Hope Bear.

Dr. Linda Olson designed the Hope Bear to help soothe and heal children who have experienced, witnessed, or lost loved ones to domestic violence.

Dr. Olson knows this situation first-hand: she experienced and witnessed violence in her childhood and marital homes, lost two sisters to childhood domestic violence, and treats children similarly afflicted in her private practice.
 
Special Features of The Hope Bear

  • Satin ears and paws for sensory stimulation
  • Patented and trademarked two-heart awareness ribbon on right paw
  • Message on the left paw: You Are Not Alone
  • 30-second heartbeat to help the child self-soothe
  • Secret zippered compartment on the back of the bear’s neck where the child can insert a note or a keepsake from a loved one.

Many studies and lots of empirical evidence show that teddy bears reduce depression, loneliness, and anxiety in traumatized and grieving children, and help them build resiliency.

  • For example, in the aftermath of the 2012 school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, well-meaning donors sent 7,000 teddy bears to survivors and their families.
  • The research done by Dr. Kenneth Tai and collaborators at the National University of Singapore show that traumatized children benefited from touching and holding teddy bears, mitigating the negative effects of social exclusion to increase prosocial behavior.
  • In Denmark, health professionals discovered that teddy bears reduce anxiety and stress in children dealing with needles and undergoing medical procedures.
  • Police officers routinely distribute teddy bears to help children cope with trauma, because of exposure to violence and drug abuse. The Kansas City Police Department in Missouri goes through about 125 teddy bears every week.
  • Left unresolved, childhood trauma stunts emotional growth in adults. For example, women who have survived childhood trauma often have many negative core beliefs. As very young children, they may have been abused or neglected, and the wounds and low self-esteem follow them into adolescence and adulthood, leading to self-sabotaging behaviors, such as drinking, drugs, or self-harm. Furthermore, these childhood wounds can drive women to seek unhealthy relationships that mirror the behavior they became accustomed to from parents who were abusive, violent, neglectful, or absent. Therapists often use stuffed animals, including teddy bears, to help treat these women.

Now that you understand the power of The Hope Bear to help victims of childhood domestic violence (CDV), please donate HERE to allow us to continue manufacturing these bears.

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