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Without voice, beyond silence: A trauma-informed program addressing the impact of domestic violence on Latinas and their young children
Zarate, Bertha Alicia
Ritblatt, ShulamitPotter, Nina
Domestic violence is a serious social/health problem affecting many Latina women and their children. Latinas who have experienced domestic violence are more likely to show health problems such as chronic diseases and mental health issues. These emotional and mental health problems include post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, problems with emotional regulation, and low self-esteem. Despite these problems, in many cases, Latinas do not seek professional assistance due to the barriers they encounter that include language difficulties, poverty, cultural values, and legal status. The purpose of this project is to design a culturally sensitive curriculum that educates Latinas about domestic violence and the negative impacts on their children. Utilizing trauma informed practices, this program aims to, 1) raise the women’s awareness of the effects of domestic violence and trauma on themselves and their relationships with their children; 2) teach the women the importance of strong parent-child attachments in coping with trauma and share strategies to enhance their relationships with their children; 3) empower the women with skills to teach themselves and their children the importance of self-care; and 4) teach the women positive parenting skills that do not trigger trauma symptoms but instead model emotional regulation, empathy, and positive communication for their children. The project highlights the importance of developing domestic violence interventions for Latinas with young children using trauma-informed practices. These practices include creating a welcoming safe environment where they can reflect on their resilience as Latina women who have faced multiple challenges and who have young children to raise. The lessons include reflective, art and bibliotherapy activities that celebrate their strengths and culture, while teaching them the brain science of trauma, building positive parent-child relationships, and promoting self-care. Research-based recommendations for program implementation are discussed.
Child and Family Development
San Diego State University
Master of Science (M.S.) San Diego State University, 2019
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