External Services for Mothers and Children
Most people believe that a victim of conjugal violence will be safe once she separates from her abuser. Unfortunately, leaving does not usually put an end to the violence. Post-separation violence is very common and separation can serve as an impetus for increased violence.
After separation, children remain the link between the violent and the abused parent. There are many ways that post-separation violence can express itself, be it custody and financial arrangements, conflicts of loyalty involving the child, using the child as mediator, or relentless threats and harassment. As the violence persists and surfaces in new ways, the children are often placed at the very center of the conflict.
The repercussions of post-separation violence affect the child in several ways, such as; acting out (conflictual behaviour, hyperactivity, anger, opposition to authority) symptoms of depression, feelings of incompetence, low self-esteem, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, isolation and conflicts of loyalty. It is in the child’s physical, emotional and social development that the effects of post-separation conjugal violence will emerge.
The Discovery Group was founded in 1999 and has evolved greatly in the last years. It has grown from a summer support group for children to a multidisciplinary service provided by counsellors who are solely dedicated to helping mothers and children victims of conjugal violence in their process of de-victimization. Our counselling services are provided through individual, familial and group interventions. Every year we provide children who have benefitted from our services, the chance to partake in a day camp where they can further explore the topics covered in individual counselling in a support group setting.