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“The purpose of doing that is to give them a little bit of empowerment,” Batista says, “let them know they also have a voice and they can do something.” During the discussion about the fictional Nick and Caitlin, Luis Campos was the first to offer a solution. I wouldn’t use violence,” said Luis, a junior at Aviation High School in Long Island City.
They are also looking to “break the cycle”—stop the generational repetition that often comes with victims of domestic abuse.
“They are hyperagitated, aggressive, assertive.” To curb that cyclical violence, Pamela Krasner, LCSW, director of the children’s program at Sanctuary for Families, argues the best treatment is early intervention.
“You’re trying to prevent the cycle from repeating,” Krasner says, “and you’re getting in with the case right after the abuses happen.
When the kids are really young and you are really working with them to build their relationship with the other parent and other safe supports in their life, they really grow and get better and heal.” In New York, experts are increasingly offering therapies for the younger generation, including individual counseling, support groups, and even therapeutic recreational activities for victims as young as 1.
The children’s program at Sanctuary—one of the first of its kind devoted to the emotional needs of child victims and witnesses of domestic violence, according to its website—offers client services ranging from an evidence-based model and child-parent cycle therapy to playroom therapy.