Joshua is a member of the shelter’s Domestic Violence Children’s Group, after experiencing domestic violence – physical, verbal and emotional – from his biological father. Since the age of five, he has been subjected to constant threats from his father. Upon his parent’s separation, he had been acting out (i.e. hitting, yelling, shoving, slamming doors, punching holes in walls and doors, making threats, lying, starting fires, etc.). In addition, he has been experiencing a mixed bag of emotions – sadness, fear, irritability and defiance.
Because Joshua’s younger brother is severely autistic, she has little time to spend with Joshua. With little to no maternal nurturing (and absent father), he acts outs out negatively and has taken much of the blame for the family’s break-up. He does have a sensitive and caring side and unfortunately, has been subjected to stress and pressure that no child should experience. He also blames himself for not protecting his mother during the violent altercations. Recently, he has been opening up more and more in group, which says a great deal about his internal awareness and motivation to be happy, loving and hopeful.