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 May 19, 2020 at 4:06 PM|
Saturday, May 16, 2020 we attended a virtual graduation for Felician University class of 2020. We were excited to view this event because my nephew, Brandon Wright, was part of the graduating class of 2020. Although it was VIRTUAL due to the COVID-19 Pandemic we could not have been more EXCITED.
Brandon earned his BA degree in Business Administration. He is the son of one of my beloved sister's Carmella A. Wright (October 15, 1968 - August 23, 2011) and grandson of my parents, Bishop James D. Wright, Sr and Pastor Margaret A. Wright. He is also the dearly loved brother of Ms. Ebony Wright. Brandon also has aunts (Delphine, Glinda, Wenda) an uncle (James D. Wright, Jr) cousins, friends and extended friends who are also very proud of this milestone and new beginning in his life.
While everyone loves and supports Brandon, his greatest cheerleader, mentor, encouragement has been his beloved sister, Ebony, who just like her mother, is passionate about children.
Ebony is an early childhood professional. She is dedicated, creative, compassionate, loving and nurturing. She loves her job and the children she teaches loves Ms.Ebony too! Prior to the death of her mother, Ebony served well as a caregiver to both her mom and brother Brandon.
Ebony and Brandon has been one of the closest sibling TEAMS I've ever met. They love and respect each other and hold each other accountable. Their hard work, discipline, courage, tenacity wasn't easy. Nothing is ever achieved without any life adversity, loss, setbacks and challenges.
"I just want to add that before my mom died, she said, 'Make sure my (Tank) "Brandon" is okay and she gave me all the cards and documents", said Ebony. "I wrote her a letter and put it in her hand in her casket and said, 'Mommy, I will make sure your baby is fine. We will be alright. Rest now".
It wasn't easy writing this blog. I miss my sister dearly. One thing I know for sure is with faith, family, and a few good friends hurts can heal and setbacks can become stepping stones. Virtual graduation commencement May 16, 2020 was a special day of celebration, memory and destiny.
Brandon Wright, was born June 22, 1998 and raised by a single mother who loved him very much.
Brandon attended Macedonia Redeemed Pentecostal Church, under the leadership of his grand-parents.
After graduating from Public School #41 in Jersey City, NJ he attended University Academy Charter High School. After graduating in 2016 he attended Felician University, a private Catholic university preparing today's students to become 21st century leaders today and tomorrow.
Brandon was very active on campus. He served as president of EOF, young entrepreneurs club, a residence assistant and a mentor. Some of his favorite subjects were marketing, business management, psychology, criminal justice, business ethics, and sports management.
When asked about what he loved most he said, "What I loved most about the college is the diversity, different cultures, backgrounds and ethnicities". His favorite place to eat was called Boom Boom chicken, a Korean Restaurant located approximately five minutes away from campus. "Their chicken with garlic soy sauce was immaculate", added Brandon.
Interviewing Brandon for this blog gave me an opportunity to learn more about my nephew. I've always been passionate about education and helping students discover their potential and fulfill their purpose. It was a blessing learning about some of his future aspirations, dreams and goals.
"My future goal is to have multiple businesses 100% owned by me and create a fortune 500 company with my surname. I want to give back to every school I went to, start a scholarship fund for minority students who want to further their education and provide a better and consistent stable life for my family". WOW!!! WOW!!!! Dreams do become reality when we write a vision and make it plain.
We're happy to announce that Brandon Wright has been selected to be the recipient of the Crossroad Women and Family Services Aspire to College Class of 2020 Achievement Award. Congratulations Brandon!
If you and your family, business, organization, church or ministry would like to send a gift of any size
to Brandon Wright and Ebony Wright you can mail your gift to Crossroad Women and Family Services, Aspire to College Program, Post Office Box 2421, Kingston, NY 12402.
You can also Cash App your gift to ($CWFS) Crossroad Women and Family Services.
If you have any questions or comments please email [email protected]
Please stay tuned for our next blog- where Brandon will give a special message to family, friends, mentors and professors. Thank you taking time to share in this special occasion.
With Hearts of Gratitude,
Patrina Wright-Torres, Executive Director
Reyes Torres, Jr., Men's Outreach
Crossroad Women and Family Services