A 9 year old girl was left under the care of a private daycare while her single mother was at work. The child was sexually abused by a relative of the daycare provider thus provoking anxiety, low self-esteem, depression, and anger. These effects are felt not only by the daughter, but by the mother as well. With the continued generosity of the Ocean Reef Community Foundation, M.U.J.E.R. Inc. is able to offer a safe environment for children such as these so that they can process and heal from the devastating effects of domestic violence and/or sexual abuse. Our children’s program works on identifying types of abuse, staying safe, dealing with feelings related to abuse, online safety and cyber bullying, and assertiveness. This year the grant funds are providing individual therapy to 40 children (ages 5-16) and we are also offering two 6 week support groups based on a program developed by the University of Miami.
One of the highlights of the children’s groups initiated this year is the Quilt Project. The children are given the opportunity to artistically express and elaborate their feelings about domestic violence and sexual abuse by painting or drawing their individual quilt square. As more children go through this program and work on their squares, the quilt will grow and will be displayed at M.U.J.E.R. The children pictured above just finished the first 6 week support group. Brianna, one of the children pictured above said “I learned that when my parents fight, it’s not my fault!”
Although domestic violence and sexual abuse tears at the fabric of these children’s lives, ORCF, together with M.U.J.E.R., provide an opportunity for these children and families to piece back their lives into something more beautiful by taking assistance from communities and the law (see more here for assistance). As one of the children from the group said, “Thank you Ocean Reef Community Foundation for ‘oceaning” us!”