The ability to live a productive life – to love, laugh and achieve great things – begins in childhood. Abuse, neglect, family dysfunction, and childhood trauma can derail a child’s potential.
We are building healthier lives for children and families, free of abuse, neglect and violence.
Her husband was unemployed. She had no health insurance and had not received any prenatal care. She was worried and anxious about her pregnancy. Her group leaders helped her sign up for health insurance with Covered California. She saw a doctor the next week. Her baby girl is now a healthy nine month old.
Jennifer was close to her Grandfather and would do anything to make him happy. She felt confused about the sexual things Grandpa did to her, but he told her that he loved her and that if she told anyone, he would go to jail and break up the family. She finally told her Mom, who called the police. DNA evidence proved that he had abused her. Jennifer came to therapy for several months to sort out all the confusion and emotional pain that sexual abuse creates. At first Jennifer was scared, cried a lot, and felt guilty and sad. Her grades took a real nose dive in school. Her therapist spent counseling time with Mom and Grandmother, rebuilding the broken trust in the family and helping the adults learn how to emotionally support Jennifer. The district attorney talked with Jennifer, explaining what would happen with Grandfather and what to expect in court. Jennifer was afraid to testify, and the District Attorney asked her therapist to come to court with her for support. Now Jennifer is sleeping well, doing well in school, feels happier again, and has a much better understanding about sexual abuse and her Grandfather’s responsibility for abusing her. She is likely to need more therapy in a few years when she becomes a teenager, when body changes, hormones and dating stir up more feelings and thoughts about her abuse. For The Child will be there for her if she needs us.
8 year-old Marcus was sexually abused by a 9 year-old in the school bathroom-more than once. His family discovered the abuse after he began soiling himself, something he didn’t usually do. When questioned, he told them what had happened to him. They had called the school principal, who told them to take Marcus to the emergency room. His aunt brought him immediately to the hospital after the phone call.
For The Child’s CART team met Marcus and his aunt at the hospital. The volunteer helped them through the process, gave the aunt referrals for treatment service and gave Marcus a teddy bear to hold onto through the process. He named him “Roger.” “Roger” went home with this young man whose crisis had not ended. He was going to have to return to school after the weekend. The police would be following up with the principal and with the 9 year old offender and his family.
For The Child worked with Marcus, his family and the police to help him feel safe and protected when he returned to school.
Teren came to the superior court with his Mom for a restraining order because of domestic violence. His Mom’s boyfriend argued with his Mom a lot, sometimes pushing and hitting. He could hear them fighting while he hid under the bed covers. At Kids’ Place he felt scared at first, but soon he settled down and got comfortable. He worried about what would happen- would his step-dad go to jail, would they live together again- but for now he was in a fun place where he could relax and just be a kid for a few hours. He had so much fun playing with the other kids that he did not want to leave when his Mom came to pick him up.