“I didn’t want to take my kids away from their dad.”
“I didn’t want to be blamed for tearing the family apart.”
“I told him I wanted a divorce and he yelled that he’d keep the kids and never let me see them again.”
Children often get trapped in the middle of violence and abuse between parents. They are exposed to the devastation of emotional, verbal, and physical abuse in their homes.
Abusive relationships employ manipulation and fear to keep a partner from leaving because of fear of “losing” access to children or destroying the family structure. But staying in abuse “for the kids” causes children to experience trauma.
At Stepping Stones, we view children as PRIMARY victims of abuse, even though they may not be directly physically or sexually assaulted. The welfare of child victims takes precedence over all other responses.
What does this mean? It means that adult victims and offenders are held accountable in the areas that affect the welfare of children involved. It’s the responsibility of adults to ensure that their children are safe and cared for. When abuse is present, children are not safe, even if they are only witnessing what is happening.
We strive to empower adult and child victims by providing unconditional, non-judgmental, supportive, and therapeutic responses to the abuse they’ve experienced. For adults, these responses will be rigorously truthful, however difficult, so that they can have all information necessary to make healthy choices and truly make significant changes in their lives and the lives of their children.
If you or someone you know is living in abuse, please call our 24/7/365 “live” Helpline to speak with our advocates. From safe shelter to educational support groups to legal advocacy, they are ready to listen, share resources, and help: 928-445-HOPE (445-4673).