Healing as a family

Written by SAFE
An adult female-identified person sits with a young child in her arms.

A child doesn’t just decide that they’re going to be violent. Abusive behavior is learned. Trauma is handed down from generation to generation.

Faye was a pregnant mother of two children under the age of 4 with a due date right around the corner. She lived with domestic abuse – shouting, putdowns, and physical violence – from not only her husband, but also her 14-year-old son.

Can you imagine the struggle of caring for and loving your child while they verbally and physically attack you? Faye didn’t know what to do, so she contacted the SAFEline.

She was admitted into SAFE’s Strong Start program, which helps build successful and resilient children by strengthening parents and preserving families. Faye met with a parent educator and counselor. She enrolled herself and her family in our Nurturing Parents classes, focusing on empathy and bonding activities – especially for her oldest son.

Our educators met them at their home. At first, her son was reluctant to speak. He refused to communicate with SAFE advocates or his parents. Faye was losing hope, but she said she wanted to fix her “broken” family.

Over the next several weeks, we saw the gradual progress. Faye’s son started speaking up, little by little. He started to express his feelings and his hurt. He began talking with his mom. And Faye was learning how to listen.

Faye told us, proudly, that there was a huge change between her and her son’s relationship. He had expressed his feelings to her; he was confused as to how his mom could continue loving him after everything he had done.