|Break the cycle of violence—give children a
"I wish my mom and
He gets mad
and hurts her."
Excerpt from Canada's Private
Broadcasters' 1996 anti-Violence
Radio and Television
What you can
do to help a
child who is living in
an abusive family
- Listen and believe. If children disclose information on the violence in
their homes they are saying they trust you, listen and believe
- Important messages for children
to hear are:
Violence is not okay; no one deserves to be abused.
- It's not your fault. You are not to
blame for the violence.
feelings are okay. Feeling angry is okay, but it's not okay to
hurt others because you're angry.
You have the right to be safe and happy.
- If you are feeling sad or scared, tell someone. We
don't have to keep secrets that make us feel that
- Give them the Kids Help Phone #
1-800-668-6868. Young people can call and talk about a problem
that's bothering them. Nobody else needs to know and it's
- Help children work out what they can do
when they are scared and need to get away from the violent
outbursts at home. Help them make a safety
- Be a friend to a child.
Show her or him by example that
adults can settle problems without violence.
- Provide a place of warmth that is
"safe" where children can get away from the pressures at
- Pay attention to the overly aggressive child, the withdrawn and
submissive child, or the child who is failing to thrive. These are
often signs that there is abuse within the family.
- Involve children in community
activities. Friendships can help them gain the security
they are missing in their families.