The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

September 21, 2012

Child bowls for wounded souls

By Jeannie Langston for the SNAP

Friday, September 21, 2012 — Esther House is in the business of healing. Women and children who have been wounded from their experiences with sexual assault and domestic violence can find safety, support and empowerment to begin this long healing process by working with Esther House.

How are they wounded? Domestic violence can wound in the following ways:

Depression remains the foremost response, with 60 percent of battered women reporting depression. In addition, battered women are at greater risk for suicide attempts, with 25 percent of suicide attempts by Caucasian women and 50 percent of suicide attempts by African American women preceded by abuse.

Along with depression, domestic violence victims may also experience Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which is characterized by symptoms such as flashbacks, intrusive imagery, nightmares, anxiety, emotional numbing, insomnia, hyper-vigilance and avoidance of traumatic triggers.

Children may develop behavioral or emotional difficulties after experiencing physical abuse in the context of domestic violence or after witnessing parental abuse. Responses in children may vary from aggression to withdrawal to somatic complaints. In addition, children may develop symptoms of depression, anxiety or PTSD.

One-third of the children who witness the battering of their mother demonstrate significant behavioral and/or emotional problems, including psychosomatic disorders, stuttering, anxiety and fears, sleep disruption, excessive crying and school problems.

Chili Bowls for wounded Souls is a fundraiser for Esther House on Sept. 28.

The event will be at First Street United Methodist Church, 509 N. First St., Albemarle. Dine in, take out or delivery for orders of five or more are available. The lunch includes a bowl of chili, cornbread and dessert for $6. Call (704) 985-1073 for more information.