Sistercare Child Survivor Story
As one of Sistercare’s children’s counselors at an emergency shelter, I began working with a very worried and traumatized seven-year-old Brian after he was a witness to his mother’s boyfriend pushing, hitting and strangling her in front of him and his 4 month old baby sister. His mother and the children fled their home, moved in with a friend from work, and just recently moved to an apartment where they were in hiding from his mother’s abuser. With the help of a Sistercare Court Advocate, Brian’s mother had obtained an Order of Protection. However, it was clear that Brian did not truly believe that anything could keep this man from finding them, and he, at the young age of seven, worried especially for his baby sister.
Brian was confused because he thought this man was his friend and now, he felt terrified. He was constantly scared and had trouble sleeping. However, Brian was able to talk about what he had seen and heard and the trauma it had caused him to feel with the Children’s Counselor. He became clearer about the fact that what had happened between the adults in his life was not his fault or his mother’s fault but was the responsibility of his mom’s boyfriend who used violence and power and control to bully his mother and put him, his mother and his baby sister at risk. After meeting with the Children’s Counselor for several months, Brian not only showed a reduction of fears and insecurities, but he also became a joyful, active little seven-year-old boy who spent more time playing with his baby sister than believing he had to protect her.
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