Confidential individual counselling is available in Envision’s Estevan office to children and youth, aged 5-18 years, who are or have been exposed to violence. Parenting support is also available for the caregivers of children who have witnessed violence.
Envision focuses on empowering children and youth. Depending on the ages and needs of the individual child, the following topics may be discussed:
- The cycle of violence
- Safety planning
- Identification of feelings
- Healthy expression of feelings
- Anger management
- Stress management
- Conflict resolution
- Effective coping strategies
- Communication skills
This program is funded by the Ministry of Justice and is offered free of charge to the public. Referrals can be made by parents, caregivers, or professionals. Children and teens, 15 years old and younger, will need parental consent to participate in the offered services. Teens aged 16-18 do not need parental consent and can refer themselves. All referrals can be made by calling or emailing the Envision Counselling and Support Centre in Estevan.
What Children Can Do
If you are witnessing abuse at home, you probably want to stop it but you might not be sure what to do. The first thing you can do is tell someone. You could tell any adult you know and trust – maybe a teacher, neighbour, friend, or family member. It is important that you stay safe when there is a fight, because trying to stop the fight can be very dangerous. If it is too dangerous to stay at home, go to a neighbour or a close friend’s house.
If you feel like running away, try to talk to someone you trust. It is important to try getting help while you’re still at home. You may feel mixed-up about what’s happening, and the person being abused might feel just as mixed-up as you do. If you want to talk to someone, consider phoning the Kids Help Phone @ 1-800-668-6868. You can also find more information on family violence here: Family Violence Information for Children and Youth.
What Parents Can Do
In a functional family, parents love and want the best for their children; affection should be shown in words and actions. Parents should allow their children to openly express their feelings and they listen to their children rather than lecture at them. Parents must nurture their own relationship to model a healthy relationship to their children.
If your child is witnessing abuse, find a counsellor who they can openly talk to. This can help your child understand that violence is not acceptable and they are not to blame. Discussing and developing a safety plan with a counsellor can protect your child’s safety. If your safety is threatened, consider staying at a shelter or a close friend’s house. Reach out to a counsellor yourself so you can find out what your options are and to understand what your children need. Remember that children who suffer emotional abuse because of family or partner abuse are considered abused children; take all the necessary steps to ensure your child’s safety and well-being.