The Violence Prevention and Intervention Program consists of two main components:
Domestic Violence Intervention (DVI)
Domestic violence is a pattern of learned behavior in which one person uses assaultive and controlling behaviors against another (an intimate partner) to maintain power and control. This can include physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse, financial abuse, and stalking. Violence can occur in any kind of relationship: marriage, dating or same sex. It can also take many forms and happen both frequently and infrequently. Sometimes abuse continues even after a relationship has ended.
Examples of abuse include:
- Verbal name-calling or put-downs
- Keeping a partner from contacting their family or friends
- Withholding money
- Stopping a partner from getting or keeping a job
- Actual or threatened physical harm
- Sexual assault
If you are being abused, please remember it is not your fault. You don’t deserve this, and no matter how scary it is, you are not alone. Casa Central is here to help.
We offer free, bilingual services to people who are experiencing verbal, physical, psychological, financial, sexual, and/or emotional abuse. Our program serves individuals of all ages who have experienced, or are currently experiencing, domestic violence. Our Counselors/Advocates are specially trained to address the safety needs and concerns of domestic violence survivors. Both group and individual counseling are available.
Counseling in this program focuses on several things:
- Education and support related to the dynamics and effects of abuse
- Crisis intervention
- Sorting out feelings like confusion, sadness, fear, anger, and helplessness
- Implementation of safety planning and support
- Assistance with obtaining resources, such as housing, legal assistance, therapy, and more
Counseling for domestic violence survivors includes a focus on the safety needs of survivors and their families. This can mean many things to different survivors. For example, one person may need help staying safe from a physically violent partner, while another may be ready to explore how to feel safe in a new relationship. Our participants often report that talking to a counselor was the first time they were able to tell their story and be heard without judgment or blame, in a private, confidential, safe space.
Seeing, hearing, or experiencing violence may get in the way of children’s ability to learn, play, and feel safe. Little kids and even infants may need extra help when they are exposed to violence at home or in the community.
Casa Central’s Safe Start program offers free bilingual services to help very young children, ages birth to five, and their families regain a sense of safety and well-being.
What should you watch for?
If your child or a child you know has been exposed to a violent event, you may see behavior like this:
- Afraid to be apart from you; clingy
- Anxious and fearful, jumpy, or cranky
- Trouble sleeping; nightmares
- Bet-wetting; wetting themselves
- Head and stomachaches; pain or discomfort that doesn’t stop
- Crying that doesn’t seem to stop
- Losing skills they learned at an early age
- Not interested in things they used to like
- Not showing emotions or feelings
- Withdrawing; being extra good
- Trouble concentrating
- Acting out violently at daycare or school
- Biting, hitting, pinching, shoving
What can you do?
For infants & toddlers who don’t talk yet:
- Be the safe person they need so much
- Hold them often; give comfort and support
- Try to keep to a routine, including quiet times and regular meals together
- Play together – play works wonders!
- If they want to talk about the violence they saw, let them
- Remain calm when they express their fears
- Keep reminding them it’s not their fault
- Be the safe one they can talk to
For children who can talk to you:
If they want to talk about the violence they saw, let them
Remain calm when they express their fears
Keep reminding them it’s not their fault
Be the safe one they can talk to
Remember that talking to someone yourself can help you help the child you care about.
Other services offered by VPI
In order to increase awareness about domestic violence, resources available to survivors, and more, Casa Central conducts workshops for professionals and community members and offers special events aimed at raising awareness about domestic violence. Contact us for more information or to request a presentation!
Additionally, the program convenes the Safe Start Coalition on a quarterly basis. This collaborative group works together to raise awareness about preventing, recognizing, and responding to early childhood trauma. We’d love to have you join us!