Domestic Violence and the Healing Process

Published Wednesday, October 17, 2018
by Myriam Barenbaum

A young African American woman stood at the podium, bravely telling the story of her experience with domestic violence for the first time in public. Several in the audience wiped away tears as she spoke of how it took her almost getting killed before she was able to walk away from the relationship. “People tried to tell me, but I didn’t want to listen,” she said sadly, shaking her head.

WJCS’ Nurturing Parenting Program was included in a Domestic Violence Workshop sponsored by State Senator Jamaal Bailey at the Mt. Vernon Doles Center on Saturday, October 13, 2018. Presenters included several survivors of domestic violence, including a parent from our group; the Mt. Vernon Police Commissioner; a female detective who specializes in these cases; and a city council member.

All spoke movingly about how this issue has touched their lives, and their hopes for change in the future. Nurturing Parenting program coordinator Myriam Barenbaum, LCSW-R, was able to share information about services available through WJCS for survivors, including individual and group treatment through the Trager Lemp Center for Treating Trauma and Promoting Resilience.

The Nurturing Parenting Program of Southern Westchester provides a weekly support group for parents who have experienced domestic violence, and a separate group for their young children. Funded in part by a grant from the Office for Children and Family Services, the program was begun in Mt. Vernon five years ago, due to high rates of reported domestic violence. Nurturing Parenting moved to Yonkers last year, in order to reach more families, and is held in a downtown church.

Parents who attend report a decrease in their sense of shame and isolation, and an increase in their sense of hopefulness for themselves and their children. Both parents and children learn skills to move forward in a more positive way.

New members are always welcome. For further information, please contact Myriam Barenbaum at (914) 423-4433, ext. 3221.


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