Crossroad Women and Family Services, Inc.
Post Office Box 2421, Kingston, NY 12402
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 April 4, 2016 at 1:31 PM||comments (0)|
When the eyes of our understanding are being opened something happens. The wisdom, revelation and insight I received helped me break free from pain of my past. Whenever you experience a life-changing breakthrough you ask yourself two questions.
1.Why didn't anybody tell me this?
2. Who else needs this truth?
Are you a survivor? You're not alone. There are over 39 Million men and women survivors of child sexual abuse in America today. Many of us have suffered in silence for years. Many Christians sit in service after service feeling stuck and don't know why.
In 2004 I wrote the book Still Scarred, Totally Healed: Opening Your Heart and Mind to God's Healing of Past Hurts to deliver hope, help and healing to the hearts of survivors of sexual abuse.
You don't have to perish for a lack of knowledge. Many people are hard on themselves due to a lack of truth. If you are a believer who have been sexually violated GOD loves you. He wants to heal every broken place. Your STORY matters to HIM.
If you're reading this post and don't have a relationship with the Lord your past hurts doesn't have to prevent you from having a great future. God has a good plan for your life. He hates evil. He LOVES you and will right the wrongs. Countless individuals and families have been devastated by sexual abuse, incest, rape, human trafficking. For many the abuse started during childhood years. Sexual abuse leaves clues.
Ask yourself the following questions.
Have you ever felt like a hypocrite?
Do you think of yourself as a phony or a failure?
Do you find yourself doing things Christians should do but can't seem to get it right?
Are there people around you that seem to have a rich, satisfying and vibrant relationship with Christ but you can't seem to touch him or feel anything at all?
Have you forced yourself to forget painful things?
Have you pretended something didn't happen when it did?
Do you believe if no one else knew it didn't matter?
What do you see when when you look into the mirror?
Are you haunted by memories from the past?
Unhealed memories of childhood sexual, verbal, mental and psychological abuse, rape, incest or domestic violence leaves invisible painful scars. Open wounds can be infected.
If you scratch an unhealed wound it may bleeding. If you or someone you know have suffered in silence the wounding in your soul can be healed. Unprocessed date hidden in the file cabinet of your mind can be worked through and a new chapter can begin.
The GOOD NEWS is new programming of the mind produces a new perspective. A changed mind leads to changed actions and a changed life. If you have been wounded during your early childhood years but have not dealt with the reality of your past there is a road to recovery. You don't have to journey alone. You can LIVE again, LAUGH again, LOVE again and DREAM again.
Would you like to speak with a prayer minister or pastoral counselor? Please send an email to [email protected]
Wishing you holistic prosperity!
Patrina M Torres
|Posted on April 2, 2016 at 2:20 PM||comments (0)|
One Saturday in 2004 while sitting in class at the New York Theological Seminary I heard a voice. One may refer to it as having had a “GOD” moment or hearing a Word from the Lord.
Either way, there was no doubt in my mind that I was having an encounter with a very real God. I wasn't dreaming and there was no reason for me to think that it was my imagination. God really does speak but when he does it's up to us to recognize His voice.
My professor was sitting right in front of me lecturing. I maintained eye contact with her as she spoke, but I realized that I was hearing a still small voice. The moment God begin to speak I picked up my pen I begin to write as fast as I could because I didn't want to miss anything He had to say. In a gentle voice this is what the Spirit of God said to me, “Don't you dare sell another copy of your book until you re-write it. I want you to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. What good is it that you are telling My people you are totally healed but you have not shared what scarred you in the first place? If you don't go back and re-write your book you are doing a disservice to My people".
With fear and trembling I put my pen down. For a moment I just sat there. A friend whom I've known for a few years was sitting next to me. I wanted to tell her what had just happened and wondered if she also heard what I just heard. But I was too embarrassed to say anything.
I thought that she would probably think that I was crazy so I kept it to myself. God definitely had my attention and at that moment I resolved not to sell another copy of my book, “Still Scarred, Totally Healed: Opening Your Heart and Mind to God's Healing of Past Hurts”.
As an act of obedience I wrote a second edition of the book. Working on the manuscript helped me in both practical and spiritual ways. Revisiting the miracles God performed and continues to do in our midst was awesome. Whenever you think about personal encounters with a true and living God your faith increases. I experienced many challenges, opposition and adversities while working on the book but I overcame them all. There is a word of healing and restoration for broken hearts in the book.
God loves you so much that he told me if I didn't re-write it I would be doing a disservice to you. I just believe he's going to do a healing work in your life. It's not about me. It's about your destiny. We serve a mighty big God who is able to do exceedingly more than you could ever think.
It's your time and your season to be healed, blessed, restored, liberated, empowered, comforted, renewed, strengthened, encouraged and made whole in every area of your life.
Wishing you good health, wellness and success!
Patrina M Wright
|Posted on April 2, 2016 at 2:15 PM||comments (148)|
Welcome! Thank you for visiting“30 Days of Healing” blog. Before we start our journey wanted to take an opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Patrina M Wright, I serve as the Executive Director of Crossroad Women and Family Services, Inc. a faith-based non-profit community-based organization birthed out of my passion to empower women to break the cycle of abuse, poverty and homelessness through education, employment, entrepreneurship, family support and mentoring.
A lover of Jesus and true worshiper I also am an adult survivor of child sexual abuse and attempted campus rape which led to destructive relationships. Today, however I stand as MORE than a survivor.
I am an journalist, author, conference speaker, TV host, certified temperament counselor, licensed minister of pastoral counseling and abuse prevention trainer.
I have birthed books out of personal pain, turned my pain into testimonies and discovered my purpose.
These tools Still Scarred, Totally Healed: Opening Your Heart and Mind to God's Healing of Past Hurts and The Exodus Breaking Cycles and Changing Lives: Repositioning Your Soul to Thrive After Domestic Violence are delivering my testimony of God's love, grace, healing and restoration.
I have the support of a loving family and have been blessed to be the mother of one adult daughter, two school aged teens and grand-mother. I am the daughter of Bishop James D. Wright, Sr and Pastor Margaret Wright, the fourth child of six children.
My volunteerism includes serving as an Advisory Board Member for the North Carolina Juvenile Justice Crime Prevention Council, Chaplain, Advisory Board Member and Peer Group Leader for the Columbus County Teen Court Program and Chaplain for Columbus County Regional Hospital. I have humbly received awards for my service and leadership in the community and will forever be grateful.
I am blessed with spiritual parents, mentors, coaches and counselors. I am a Global School of Ministry Advanced Master Class 2013 alumni, ordained minister and intercessory prayer minister. I serve as the New Jersey State President of the International Minister's Fellowship and Bible Instructor for the New Jersey Chapter of the Global School of Ministry Bible Training and Leadership Development Center, a new chapter I am helping to establish in Hudson County.
As you visit the 30 Days of Healing blog it is my earnest prayer your heart will experience healing, your mind will be changed and your life will be transformed. There is healing for every place that hurts.
There is healing in the life-changing living word. If you believe miracles, signs and wonders will follow!!
Wishing you good health, wellness and success!
|Posted on April 2, 2016 at 1:59 PM||comments (0)|
On Friday April 1, 2016 the Holy Spirit begin speaking to me. This is what He impressed upon my heart and in my spirit. For the next 30 days I am to write a blog focused on “30 Days of Healing”. The month of April is to survivors of child abuse what October is to survivors of cancer and family violence.
While there has been a great awakening on the issue of child sexual abuse the number of cases are
still alarming. April is the month child abuse prevention, awareness education and healing is promoted.
We're grateful for organizations, survivors, businesses, public officials, advocates and churches engaging communities through presentations, workshops, vigils, prayer walks and others gatherings.
We must not NEVER give up the fight to keep our families and communities safe, protect the innocence of our children and deliver a message of hope, help and healing to survivors of child sexual abuse.
Today is Saturday, April 2, 2016 and I am personally inviting you to the “30 Days of Healing” blog. I look forward to sharing words of hope, inspiration, encouragement, healing and restoration.
Chances are you, or someone you know have experienced been exposed to child abuse. Statistics tell us that there are over 39 million adult survivors of child sexual abuse in America today.
Chances are you or someone you know have experienced sexual victimization during the early years of life. Share this blog with family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, educators, youth workers, college students, business leaders, pediatricians, lawyers, doctors, social workers.
Chances are the people you know have also come in contact with individuals or families who may benefit from “30 Days of Healing” blog posts.
Over the next 30 days I will also share excerpts and healing prayers from my book, "Still Scarred, Totally Healed: Opening your heart and mind to God's healing of past hurts".
Do you have a healing story to share? Please leave us a comment. We'd love to connect with you. If you have any questions you may also email me at [email protected]
Wishing you good health, wellness and success!