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     Out of the Ash Kids is a nonprofit advocacy for children of domestic violence in Hampton Roads, Virginia in the United States.  Our goal is to help lessen the impact on children who have lived in a home where domestic violence was prevalent and provide help and support. 

We are here to help children of domestic violence.

*Out of the Ash Kids is part of See the Light Be the Light.  That organization is geared towards adults who are in or have experience domestic violence.  As we were developing See the Light Be the Light, my daughter and I had a conversation about how when we lived in shelters after we left our situation, it seemed to be that everyone was more concerned with me.  If I was fine, so would be the kids.  My daughter, Ashley (or Ash...she what we did there?) pointed out that was not the truth, and that she wonders how much might have been different had they also been a focal point.  I was too damaged to see that.  I was in survival mode for a very long time.  Putting one foot in front of the other.  And then I pushed all the pain, hurt, disappointment and fear under a rug and left it.  Every now and then the rug would slip (probably more often than I am willing to admit) and the mess underneath would be exposed.  and damn it was messy.  I didn't know how to be better or different, or how to change.  Yet I did know, and still pushed the rug back in place to cover the mess that was me.  

Goals of Out of the Ash Kids include:

  • To identify young children who witness acts of significant violence.

  • To help young children heal from the trauma of witnessing violence by helping to identify counseling for their families.

  • Healing begins with relationships. The adult helping relationship is the most powerful tool we have to assist children in healing from traumatic events.

  • Help children know what to expect. Provide a highly structured and predictable home and learning environment for children.

  • Let the child know that it is OK to talk about what has happened.  When children are ready, it helps to be able to talk about the violence in their lives with trusted adults.

  • Give parents support. Help parents understand that young children think differently than adults and need careful explanations about scary events.

  • Foster children’s self-esteem. Children who live with violence need reminders that they are lovable, competent and important.

  • Don’t try it alone. Identify and collaborate with other caregivers in the child’s life.

  • Teach alternatives to violence. Help children learn conflict resolution skills and about non-violent ways of playing.

  • Model nurturing in your interactions with children. Serve as role models for children in resolving issues in respectful and non-violent ways.



Reprinted from The Child Witness to Violence Project, Boston Medical Center

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