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Through Our Eyes: Children, Violence, and Trauma
by GABRIELLE NYGAARD

A new video series from the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) explores the needs of children exposed to crime, abuse, and violence, and how we can support the efforts of those who work to help them.

Each video in the “Through Our Eyes: Children, Violence, and Trauma” series can be viewed on YouTube or downloaded, and is accompanied by a resource guide accessible on the OVC website.

In a message about the series, OVC director Joye Frost outlines the four key messages the videos are meant to reinforce:

  • Children’s exposure to violence and victimization is significant.
  • These experiences can leave lasting effects.
  • There are effective ways to protect children and alleviate the harm of exposure.
  • Everyone has a role.

The series includes an introduction and three topic-specific videos, with more forthcoming. The introductory video brings awareness to the physical, emotional, and behavioral effects of trauma on children. Victims speak up about their moving personal experiences to bring light to the issue, and experts give guidance on identifying and intervening for child victims.

"Treatments That Work" discusses the consequences that violence exposure has for children, including increased risk for substance abuse, mental and behavioral problems, and highlights the promising evidence-based treatments that can help victims and their families.

The third video explores "The Child Advocacy Center Model." This model brings together professionals from many disciplines, including law enforcement, child protection, prosecution, mental health, and medical and victim advocacy, to collaborate and support child victims of trauma.

Finally, "Community-Based Approaches" illustrates the importance of community-, neighborhood-, and faith-based groups in protecting and responding to children, featuring three exemplary programs; HALOS (SC), Project PERK (MI), and NAYA Family Center (OR); to show how a community’s specific needs can be met.

Together, the videos and resources provided in “Through Our Eyes: Children, Violence, and Trauma” can educate and inspire us to do our part in identifying, protecting, and treating children exposed to violence.

 


Gabrielle Nygaard is a Digital and Social Media Intern at Prichard Communications, where she assists on several accounts, including Reclaiming Futures. She is a student at Linfield College studying Mass Communication and Japanese. She is an Oregon native and health enthusiast.

 

*Photo at top by Flickr user salimfadhley