The month of April is nationally recognized as Child Abuse Prevention month. During this time, many organizations spread awareness of children’s needs and the importance of services designed to meet these needs. The Amanda’s Easel Creative Arts Therapy Program of 180 Turning Lives Around is spreading the message of healing from domestic violence and child abuse by displaying 72 luminaries around the borough of Red Bank. These luminaries (bags containing the children’s artwork with a battery operated candle display) will help to shine a light on the needs of children affected by domestic violence and to spread awareness of how prevention efforts can reduce the risk of families being impacted by abuse. Displays will be available for community awareness from Thursday, April 1 – Friday, April 16.

Amanda’s Easel is a free creative arts therapy program designed to help children ages 4-14 and their non-offending parent heal from the effects of domestic violence, strengthen self-esteem, develop coping skills, improve parent-child communication, and break the cycle of family violence. Small group and individual sessions are led by Master’s level therapists in art, play, drama, and music therapy, and counseling, case management, and support services for the non-offending parent/caregiver are also provided.

How does family violence impact children?

Children are the silent victims of family violence. They often cannot express their feelings about traumatic events in their lives using words alone. Children who experience the stress of living in a violent home often display negative behaviors, such as hitting, throwing tantrums, crying, becoming quiet and shy, or showing signs of:

  • Poor impulse control.
  • Verbal or physical aggression with peers and/or family members.
  • Low frustration tolerance.
  • Feeling sad, depressed or anxious.
  • Physical complaints without signs of sickness.
  • Poor school performance.
  • Low self-esteem.
  • Acting too old or too young for their age.

    To learn more about the Amanda’s Easel Program:

    The program is free and confidential. To enroll, please call our hotline at: 888-843-9262