Crossroad Women and Family Services, Inc.
Post Office Box 2421, Kingston, NY 12402
Crossroad Women and Family Services, Inc.
Post Office Box 2421, Kingston, NY 12402
Crossroad Women and Family Services, Inc.
"Healing the Hearts of Women and Children Since 2004"
How domestic violence affects children
Did you know that children can be deeply impacted by violence? When a child is exposed to fighting, screaming and yelling is it traumatizing and leaves emotional, mental, spiritual wounds. When family violence is taking place in a home environment it makes a child's world feel hopeless and helpless. Their hearts are broken and need healing.
IMAGINE seeing someone you love hit, kicked, punched, strangled and stomped by a person you love and thought loved your family member. Family violence is confusing for a child and it makes them feel "unsafe" "unloved" "scared" "anxious" "depressed" "overly compliant". It causes a child to have nightmares, stomach aches, poor eating habits. Bed wetting, problems in school, difficulty with learning and concentration due to worrying about loved ones. Children exposed to domestic violence have difficulty making friends or keeping friends. They tend to run away or stay away from home, get involved with drugs, alcohol, gangs, unhealthy sexual relationships and risk pregnancy early.
They struggle with feelings of rejection and isolation. The violence is often expressed in their artwork, writings and music. They tend to have a history of disciplinary problems, expulsions, and chronic school absences. Sometimes they have trouble sleeping at night and have a hard time staying awake in class during the day. Sometimes they have a love/hate relationship with the parent that perpetrates the violence and the parent that tolerates the abuse.
Sometimes a child will blame himself or herself for the violence taking place. Nevertheless, children learn from what they are exposed to. If they see it or hear it they are being trained to believe it's the right thing to do. Parents, siblings, and other family members are the first examples. For example, if a boy is repeatedly exposed to his father, step-father, brother, uncles or boyfriend beating his mom he will think it's OK. He is at risk of physically abusing his sister. When his mom beats him for hitting his sister he will become angry and confused. He learned how to engage in violence, aggression, uncontrolled anger and victimization while witnessing the abuse of his mother.
It's never too late to break the cycle of domestic and family violence. It's never just the victim of abuse that's impacted. Exposure to violence, neglect, abuse by someone you know, love and should have been able to trust leaves emotional, spiritual, physical, social, financial, sexual wounds. While we can't undo anything that took place in our past we can work to right the wrongs. We can learn to listen. We can make help restore lives. We can make a difference.
If you or your child is in need of anger management, behavioral health, addiction or divorce recovery support contact us for a consultation. Please fill out the contact form and Customer Care will be in touch. Thank you.
Building a Healthy Marriage
The key to having a healthy and happy family is a healthy marriage. Today as we look at the state of marriages we wonder if having a healthy and happy family is possible. Let's explore first-time marriages.
Studies reveal the average age for men is 26 and the average age for women is 24. According to Dr. H. Norman Wright, almost half of first-time marriages fail. Let's look at four principle reasons why some first-time marriages
fail. One reason is that some people do not understand stages in their individual development and are therefore less likely to think about how this can impact a marital relationship.
The second reason is that not every person had an adequate basis upon which to build their personal identity. In other words if personal identity, development and beliefs are unhealthy, negative or key relationships were problematic this creates the risk for later in life problems.
A third reason some marriages fail is because some people enter marriage with unresolved issues such as growing up in a dysfunctional family, traumatic childhood experiences, foster care and child welfare, alcoholism and substance abuse issues, undiagnosed mental illness, and marriage problems of their parents or caretakers.
Lastly, some marriages were dissolved because the couple were unprepared for the marriage and their expectations of each other, marriage and family were unrealistic. Today, marriage and family counseling and support is available.
Studies show about 80% of married couples struggle with the inability to communicate. One of the most important investments some couples make for their marriage is pre-marital counseling, couples coaching and biblical mentoring.
What topics are explored? Understand the purpose of marriage, effective communication, conflict resolution, healing childhood hurts, boundaries, overcoming your parents divorce, financial crisis intervention, sexuality, parenting and spiritual wholeness can be explored in pre-marital counseling as well as ongoing marriage coaching.
As author and speaker, Dr. Gary Smalley notes in, Love Is A Decision, by Gary Smalley and John Trent, "Deep-seated problems don't vanish instantly without consistent work by the couple and relying on God's strength for daily endurance". Having a healthy and happy marriage takes work. A healthy marriage is the key to a healthy family.
Does having good relationships take work? Yes, and there are couples doing their interpersonal and marriage work.
Every relationship experiences some conflict. Dr. Wright shares10 key strategies for coping with conflict.
1. Don't avoid conflict with the silent treatment.
2. Don't save emotional trading stamps.
3. If possible, prepare the setting for the disagreement.
4. Attack the problem, not each other.
5. Don't throw feelings like stones.
6. Stay on the subject.
7. Offer solutions with your criticisms.
8. Never say, "You never.."
9. Don't manipulate your mate.
10. Be humble; you could be wrong.
Larry and Nordis Christenson in their book, The Christian Couple, offers this insight: "Healing does not come from the outside. It comes from within the one who has been hurt. A doctor may set a broken arm and put it in a cast, but the power to mend the bone is released from within the person's own body".
By diligently seeking to learn how to improve conflict -resolution skills, fertile soil is plowed that will ultimately provide a seed bed for effective, healing communication in a marriage. These communication skills can also serve as tools to greatly enhance the couple's parenting skills and abilities. If you're interested exploring how to have a happy and healthy marriage through pre-marital counseling, couple's bible study or marriage coaching contact us today!
Healing Beyond Childhood Trauma
Did you know that most people in the US have at least one ACE? ACE's are adverse childhood experiences that not only causes harm to the brain of children it changes they way they respond to the stresses of life, compromises their immune systems and causes other chronic health conditions over their lifetime. According to a CDC Kaiser Permanente ACE Study childhood trauma and ACE places people at risk for depression, chronic diseases, mental illness, financial problems, social problems and becoming a victim of violence and sexual crimes.
Other ACE surveys have expanded the types of ACE's and those findings while not surprising are also noted below. Below are traumatic experiences linked to social, financial, mental, emotional and physical problems.
1. A family member who is diagnosed with a mental illness or depressed.
2. Witnessing a mother being abused.
3.A family member who is addicted to drugs or alcohol.
4. Physical, sexual and verbal abuse.
5. A family member who is in prison.
6. Parental separation or divorce.
7. Physical or emotional neglect.
8. Living in an unsafe neighborhood.
9. Experiencing or witnessing racism.
10. Witnessing violence outside of the home.
11. Involvement with the foster care system.
12. Losing a family member due to deportation.
13. Witnessing a father being abused by a mother.
14.Living in a war zone.
15.Being bullied by a peer or adult.
If you have one or more ACE's you are not alone. Research shows that nearly two-third of adults have at least one. Additionally, the scores are even more revealing. For example people with an ACE score of 4 are twice as likely to smoke and seven times more likely to struggle with alcoholism addiction. Additionally, a score of 4 or more is likely to increase the risk of chronic diseases such as emphysema or chronic bronchitis by 400 percent, while also increasing the risk for attempted suicide by 1200. ACE's is also linked to chronic workplace absenteeism, ER visits, mental illness, criminal justice involvement and increased healthcare costs.
The higher the ACE score the more likely it is that people with these scores have more marriages, violence, drug prescriptions, increased risk for broken bones, greater struggles with depression and autoimmune diseases. Studies show that the life span of individuals with an ACE score 6 or higher are at risk for being shortened by 20 years.
The impact of childhood traumatic experiences doesn't just go away as people age. Rather, what a person has lived through directly or indirectly leaves bits and pieces. Harmful traces of the past that keeps showing up has the ability to be passed down from one generation to the next causing generational cycles of unhealed trauma and strongholds.
While the brain does not know the difference between one kind of traumatic experienced and toxic stress from the other we are not stuck with stressed out brains, painful memories, chronic diseases, mental illness or substance abuse.
It's essential that people receive an effective diagnosis from an effective team of caring medical professionals who can create qualified treatment plan so the journey to healing and recovery can begin.
Wishing you health and wellness,
Patrina M Torres, Founder, Totally Healed International
NCCA Certified Temperament Counselor, Certified Instructor
School of Counseling, S.A.C.C. Certified Academic Institution
Email: [email protected]
|Posted on March 28, 2013 at 2:37 PM||comments (0)|
Mass shooting, fatherless homes, sex trafficking and child sexual abuse cases like the Jerry Sandusky trial are very troubling situations. Things are happening so fast that it can almost make your head spin. Fear and anxiety has been gripping the hearts and minds of children for years. But no one is really talking about it. Well, I want you to know that we must find comfort in the words of David in Psalm 50:15, "Call on me when you are in trouble and I will rescue you". It is during perilous times like these that we must cry out to God for our families.
Jesus LOVES little children. I don't know what society thinks about that. But Jesus told His disciples,
"Let the little children come to me" in Luke 18. He's still calling for us to bring our babies to Him. Our children must be reminded that we love them and so does Jesus. Our children need to know that angels are watching over them to protect them. What are you doing on Sunday, April 14, 2013.
This is going to be a very special day for me. April 14, 2013 is my father's birthday. Last year I traveled to New Jersey to be the "guest speaker" at a service held in his honor. You don't know how honored I was. It was a special night for me and him. Seeing tears stream down of the face of the most important man in my life was amazing. I was on an assignment with a God ordained word.
Traveling from North Carolina to New Jersey was not too much to ask. It was just another awesome opportunity to pay tribute and honor my father, Bishop James D. Wright. Love you dad!!
But this year on Sunday, April 14, 2013 Crossroad Women and Family Services will be hosting, "Restoring Families, Reclaiming Youth" a two day youth and family empowerment conference. The Innocence Revolution is a new organization bringing organizations from across the globe together for "A Global Day to End Child Sexual Abuse".
This is going to be an amazing day. There are 20 countries and 25 states hosting events in their communities. As you know child sexual abuse leads to so many other issues such as shame and guilt, depression, alcoholism, teen pregnancy, low school performance, cutting, social isolation, obesity, violent behavior and prison. Statistics show that on a daily basis 300,000 children around the world are sexually abused by someone they love and should have been able to trust. And in the United States alone it is estimated that there are at least 42 million men and women who are adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Isn't it time that we come together to protect our children and help heal adult survivors?
The key to reducing this epidemic is helping those who are struggling with the aftermath of abuse. Helping people work through the horror and deep wounds that are oftentimes unresolved and manifesting in other areas. Let's STOP telling people to just "get over it" and provide a safe place for them to heal. Let's STOP meeting about it and being about it. Let's come together and make a difference.
We are hosting a family fun day on Saturday, April 13, 2013. If you own a business and would like to donate some door prizes of give-away for kids, PLEASE contact us ASAP. Restoring Families, Reclaiming Youth weekend events are quickly approaching.
If you'd like to make a donation, you can do that righ here on this page. Just click on "Donate" and you can do so via paypal or debit card. Thank you for taking the time out to read this blog.
We appreciate you. We love you. We're here for you. Let us know how we can serve you. We want you to know that no matter what has taken place in your life, you are NOT broken beyond repair.
|Posted on February 23, 2013 at 9:24 PM||comments (2)|
During my morning devotions I read about parents bringing their little children to Jesus. "One day some parents brought their little children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them" (Luke 18:15). I begin to think about the parents. They obviously knew something about Jesus. I don't believe that these parents would have brought their precious children to Jesus if they had not believed that Jesus loved the little children. I also believe that these parents recognized who Jesus was.
In other words, these parents knew that making an effort to take their children to Jesus could change their lives, their futures, their hopes and their dreams. It could put their lives on the right path and give them a reason for living. Luke said that the parents brought the children so that Jesus could touch and bless them. One touch from Jesus can heal our hearts, change our perspectives and transform our lives.
Jesus is our healer, great physician, redeemer, refuge, protector, provider, deliverer, restorer, counselor and prince of peace. The earlier we introduce children to Jesus how much better their lives can be. To know that they are loved in a real and personal way by Jesus can make such a world of a difference.
Luke 18:15 says, "But when the disciples saw this, they scolded the parents for bothering Jesus".
Can you imagine that? Jesus loves the children. Yet the disciples treated their parents as if bringing
their children to Him would be an inconvience. Well, Jesus didn't agree with their behavior.
"Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples let the children come to me. Don't stop them. For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children", (Luke 18:16).
What Jesus was saying is bring the children here and do nothing to prevent them from coming. And if you want to enter the Kingdom of my Father you would do well to become like these little children. After reading the scriptures I went into my kitchen to make breakfast. While I'm cooking I started thinking about the many ways children are at-risk for not coming to Jesus.
In other words there are things that have happened in the lives of children that have prevented them from coming to know God's love for them. So many children today are falling through the cracks but I believe that Jesus wants us to help the children come to Him. He wants to touch and bless them. We must NOT allow the following circumstances to stop children from coming to Jesus. He is our only hope.
Children are at-risk of falling through the cracks when:
1. There is poverty, low-income and dependency on government assistance.
2. There is violence, anger and uncontrollablle rage modeled in the home.
3. There is a substance abuse problem in the home and no treatment.
4. There is child is a victim of child abuse and neglect.
5. The child has become the parent to the parent instead of being raised as a child.
6. There is no spiritual training, instruction or discipline.
7. There are no values or morals being modeled.
8. The child feels unloved, unwanted, uncared for.
9.The child feels there is no hope for their future.
10.The child has no sense of purpose, direction or meaning for their existence.
11.The parent is physically, mentally, emotionally, verbally abusive.
12.A parent or both parents are incarcerated.
13.The child is made to sell drugs or steal food just to survive.
14.The child is illiterate, not able to read or write.
15.The child has no one who cares about their well-being or shows interest.
16.The child has experienced parental rejection and abandonment.
17.The child is has been experienced the trauma of sexual abuse, molestation or rape.
18.The child is a victim of sexual trafficking.
19.The child has to relocate from shelter to shelter or state to state.
20.The child has know one to talk to or anyone to listen.
21.The child's sexuality has been tainted by through sexual exploitation.
22. The child's identity has been stolen and they don't know who they are.
23. The child's innocence has been stolen.
24. The child lives in a community plagued by crimes, gun violence and drugs.
25.The child has joined a gang to experience a sense of belonging.
26. The youth ages out of foster without proper resources, guidance, support system in place.
27.The child have never met their father.
28. The child is allowed to do drugs with their parents or other relatives.
29. The child has been exposed to pornography.
30. The child is trying to fill the hole in their hearts with multiple sex partners.
31. The child is living in the home with a mentally ill parent.
32. The child becomes pregnant as a student.
33. The child has contracted HIV/AIDS and hasn't shared with anyone.
34. The child is involved with the Juvenile Justice System.
35. The youth has or is at-risk of dropping out of school.
36. The child runs away from home due to problems in the home.
37. The child is forced into prostitution and feels there is no way out.
Regardless of the circumstances JESUS loves the children. We must help the children get to Jesus by any means necessary so that He can touch them with His love and grace. So that He can heal them.
|Posted on January 8, 2013 at 9:02 PM||comments (0)|
The Innocence Revolution is slated to be launched throughout the World on April 14, 2013. This is a global crusade to end the crime of child sexual abuse. People from all walks of life will unite and energize a coalition or organizations and individuals to sustain a global effort to end sexual abuse of children.
We are inviting people to participate in this historic event. I believe that this will be one of the greatest healing movements that will ever take place. This is what the world needs NOW. Hope, healing and restoration. It's time to for healing to take place within families. Adults need to be made aware that they can be healed from childhood scars and children can receive healing for crimes committed against them.
We need YOU. We need your VOICE. We need your SUPPORT. We want you to know that you can make a huge difference in the life of a child!!
Here are 21 reasons to consider joining The Innocence Revolution. You should join if you:
1. Want to stop child abuse of any kind.
2. Want to specifically help to stop child sexual abuse.
3. Want to stop manipulation in the federal/state child care systems.
4. Want to stop child trafficking.
5. Want to stop human trafficking (trafficked children become trafficked adults).
6. Want to stop the proliferation of child pornography.
7. Want stiffer penalties for sex crimes.
8. Want to stop placement of children in the custody of molesters.
9. Want to stop the arbitrary alienation of parental rights.
10. Want to protect the children of the world.
11. Want to reduce the number of children and adults addicted to drugs, alcohol, etc.
12. Want to reduce the number of sex offenders and , specifically, child sex offenders around the world.
13. Want children and adults to have a plan of protection against sexual crimes.
14. Want an effective system for supervision & management of individuals on the sex offender registry.
15. Were a victim and want to heal.
16. Were a victim and want to help others.
17. Were not a victim, but want to learn how to effectively help and support others.
18. Want to help children abandoned or abused by the "system".
We'd love to hear from you. Let us know how you want to get involved. Contact us at [email protected], we look forward to hearing from you!
|Posted on December 18, 2012 at 7:40 PM||comments (2)|
Are you a survivor of child sexual abuse? You're not alone. There are over 42 million adult survivors of child sexual abuse in America alone. Experts also estimate that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before their 18th birthday. Do you know what this means? In any classroom or neighborhood full of children there are children who are suffering in silence due to sexual abuse.
If you are an adult survivor of sexual abuse I would like to invite you to be part of one of the greatest movements that I believe will change the world. The Innocence Revolution, A Global Day to End Child Sexual Abuse was created to build awareness and launch a global crusade against the crime of Child Sexual Abuse. On April 14, 2013 events are going to be held in cities throughout the world joining all who are interested in uniting to fight to end the sexual victimization of children. We invite you to join us in this most crucial historic event.
The Innocence Revolution A Global Day to End Child Sexual Abuse will bring together people from every nation, race, color, creed, gender for a united cause. As survivors we are committed to the prevention and treatment of child sexual abuse. We're dedicated to helping others move from a place of shame to a place of grace. I know what it's like to suffer in silence for over 20 years. Crippled by fear and guilt. When you're abused every part of who you are is affected. Not just your body, your mind and your spirit is broken.
Child sexual abuse wounds the soul. It breaks the heart of a child. It introduces you to a whole new world that you are not prepared for. The impact of sexual abuse are far reaching. You blame yourself. You have nightmares and struggle with fear and anxiety. You feel angry and withdrawn from the rest of the world. You feel dirty, distant and ashamed. You're smiling on the outside but on the "inside" your tormented and crying out for help. Yet, you don't know "who" to trust with your private pain. You believe the lie that it was all your fault. You hear voices telling you that you brought it on yourself. Lies, lies, lies.
You hate yourself and have trouble fitting in. You do things to win friends. You have mood swings and suffer from depression. You feel broken and have no sense of "wholeness". Your identity is stolen and you live most of your life trying to figure out who you are. Your relationships are dysfunctional because you look for love in all the wrong places. And you don't love yourself. When you don't love yourself you will become a victim all over again.
The truth is when you're sexually wounded it's hard to find love. And until you are healed you will have problems in your relationships because your view of real love has been tainted through sexual abuse.
Over the years I've had my share of tainted love. And I've come to realize that we were created for more than tainted love. If it's not true love, I don't want it. You can love again. You will live again. You will laugh again and you will dream again. You are a valuable individual. You are unique. You are God's gift to this world. You are something special. You deserve the best. You deserve happiness. You deserve peace. You deserve joy and contentment. You deserve to live in the light and let your light shine.
Your experiences does NOT define who you are. There is so much more to you than what you see in the mirror. Do not let the pain of your past dictate your future. It happened, it was horrific, it shouldn't have taken place, but you must not stay there. You have purpose. You have to choose to heal. You have to choose to be made whole. You have to choose to live again. You have to choose to let go of the anger, bitterness, shame and guilt. You have to choose to recover. You can be healed. You don't have to live the rest of your life suffering in silence. It's time to heal and take the rest of your life back.
Break the silence with us on April 14, 2013. We want you to join us. Support this cause. Let's do this together. We can make a difference. We must all speak with ONE VOICE. We must SPEAK NOW. We will not tolerate the innocence of children being stolen any longer. We will stand for justice. We will stand for peace. We will stand for healing and recovery. We will stand for innocent and vulnerable children who deserve to grow up healthy, happy and whole. Join this movement with us.
If you reside in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Maryland, Virginia why not plan an event or let's work together. We're planning a great concert, speakers, and more. If you're a singer, musician, choir, poet or spoken word artist let's connect. Let's launch one of the greatest awareness and healing movements that this world have ever seen and will NEVER forget.
Email me at [email protected] to say, "Patrina, count me in"!!
We hope to hear from you today!