This story comes courtesy of Courtney Murrah, with the Exchange Club Family Center. Names and images have been changed to protect privacy.
Daniel was acting aggressively toward his teacher and peers, and his behavior was becoming a problem. At home, his aggressive behavior was targeted at his siblings and even his mother. Looking for help, his family began participating in the Exchange Club Family Center’s domestic violence group therapy program and one-on-one therapy.
Daniel’s behavior problem is duplicated hundreds of times a year by other children who, like Daniel, see repeated acts of domestic violence in the home.
“Children just like Daniel begin to heal and cope with their emotions after participating in the program,” an agency counselor reported. “This is the goal we want to achieve, as it is vital to stopping the cycle of violence.”
When Daniel entered the program, his mother was struggling to find housing, work and transportation, while simultaneously going through the legal system to get an order of protection from her husband. Adding to her concerns, she was repeatedly called by the school about her son’s behavior. Before getting Daniel involved in the therapy program, she was afraid of what Daniel might do to her younger children – or even what he could do to her. In addition to helping give Daniel the therapy he needed, the agency was also able to assist his mother with some of her other goals.
“After nine months with our counseling staff, Daniel began to show positive signs of controlling his anger,” the counselor said. “He has learned nonviolent means of settling conflict. He has had significantly decreased levels of anger, shame and anxiety and has been behaving better at school. His grades were also improving. His mother attributes this success to the therapy program.”
Daniel continues to use the coping tools he learned through the program, and he is excelling in school and becoming a positive “older brother” role model to his siblings. Thanks to your support of United Way, Daniel and many children like him are involved in programs that help stop the cycle of domestic violence, providing help for today and the future.