Darius and his siblings, ages 10, 9 and 7, arrived at Safe Shores after their father had kicked their mother in the head, sending her to the ER yet again.
During Darius’ forensic interview, he disclosed that his father frequently physically abused him, too. Safe Shores’ Family Advocate acted quickly to get Darius, his mother, and siblings moved to a safe house the very next day. The advocate also referred Darius to therapy through our Clinical Services Program.
Along with traditional talk therapy, Darius’ therapist employed sand tray therapy ¹, “a powerful therapeutic technique that facilitates the psyche’s natural capacity for healing.” ² By arranging play figurines in the sand to illustrate what he’d been through, Darius was able to express and process the complicated feelings he was experiencing in the wake of his trauma.
Therapy wasn’t the only support Safe Shores provided to Darius and his family. We helped the family obtain permanent housing and furniture. Further, when Darius revealed in therapy that he was still terrified of his father – who, after everything, had retained unsupervised visitation privileges – Darius’ therapist went to court to support his mother’s request for an end to the visits. Thankfully, they won.
When Darius said he was interested in the kids’ yoga classes that his therapist had recommended for stress management and self-regulation, Safe Shores used emergency victim crisis funds to pay for the classes. Finally, Darius’ mother began attending Safe Shores’ Caregiver Support Group to begin dealing with her own trauma and learn ways to prevent future abuse in her family.
When a family’s world is upended by violence, what they need to move forward is as unique as it is multifaceted. The one common thread is the need for the comprehensive, professional, tailored and compassionate programs and services that Safe Shores specializes in providing.
Only with your financial support can Safe Shores continue to meet the basic and special needs that allow families like Darius’ to overcome trauma and move toward a better future. Please make your tax-deductible gift to today.
Safe Shores wishes you peace and hope today and every day.
¹ For more information on sand play therapy, please see Sandplay: Mirror of a child’s psyche by Dora M. Kalff.
² C.G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles. “What is Sandplay Therapy?” JunginLA.org. https://junginla.org/education/what_is_sandplay (accessed November 15, 2017).