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Ruidoso Free Press


April 24, 2012

The Nest – a place to heal children April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. At the Nest, professional advocates, counselors and administrators focus on how the cycle of violence and abuse affects children. The U.S. Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect suggests that domestic violence may be the single major precursor to child abuse and neglect fatalities in this country. Domestic violence and child abuse often occurs within the same families. In a national survey of more than 6,000 families, researchers found that 50 percent of the men who frequently assaulted their wives also frequently assaulted their children. Children are also injured when they attempt to intervene in the violence, stepping between the abuser and the victim. In its role as a model shelter, the Nest continues to evolve to meet the needs of child witnesses of domestic violence. Our inhouse counselors, Nancy Harkey La Pointe and Maurice Gudgel, provide much needed therapy to both women and children at the Nest. Gudgel states, “When a child grows up in an environment of domestic violence, they become emotionally damaged and sometimes they suffer physical damage. If these issues are not dealt with through counseling or

Courtesy photo

Pictured is Nest Advocate Miriam Moreno, speaking to the Head Start Program in Mescalero.

Quiet time for your mind the type of meditaIn this day and tion that works for age, humanity is you. It can be as busier than ever. We simple as slowing are constantly on the your mind by focusgo and multitasking ing on breathing, to has become a requirepracticing the power ment for life. Workof intent and taking ing, raising kids, a moment to speak preparing meals, to your wise inner paying bills, grocerself or your higher ies shopping, helppower. ing with homework, Media Break - I and the like, are just often set aside time a few things on our to be away from any daily to do list. When Angie Fernandez outside influences. I we get a moment to take this break from relax; you can bet we are going to take that time and enjoy it! all media sources, including books, music and television, as words, phrases There are many ways for us to and rhythms can often distract my relax, such as enjoying a good book, brain and guide me down an influenced watching television, a good meal, path; rather than what might come catching up with old friends on the naturally. I also encourage a break phone or via social networks and so forth. But unfortunately we often over- from media sources before sleeping, as I feel they interrupt thoughts about look one of the most important ways my day as I relive the day’s activities, to relax, and that is the quieting of our both good and bad experiences; to find minds. answers for a better tomorrow. I also I once heard a speaker compare believe it is possible that exposure to our busy brain functions to that of the media before bed can influence our muscles in our legs. Our legs are often dreams and sleeping patterns. As a paron the move as they take us to this ent, I encourage this quiet time for my place and that, and some of us enjoy children, at least one hour before bed. other activities that use those muscles and help us feel good, such as jogging, Morning thoughts - each mornrunning or swimming. We often give ing I reserve the first five minutes those muscles a break throughout the after waking for a quiet moment of day, and when we sleep, we give them gratitude for the wonderful blessings an even longer rest. So why do we in my life. I also take a minute to set allow our brains to keep going without my intent for the day, such as keeping any kind of break? (Even as we dream a good attitude regardless of what I our mind is still busy). As I learn the may face during my day, along with importance of giving my brain a rest, the ability to understand and accept I learn to understand there are several others, and practicing the power of health benefits as well. Here are a few forgiveness. I have found that on the thoughts and activities to consider as days I practice my morning thoughts, I you too may see the importance of giv- am happier and more productive, and ing your mind a break. am often accompanied by an extra pep in my step. Meditation - I have found this type of break to be both calming and Whatever you choose as your rejuvenating. There are many forms of relaxation technique I hope you enjoy meditation and I suggest you research it, as I am sure you deserve it!

grew up with in their home. They use violence as the only coping skill they know.” A pilot children’s program utilizing art was implemented in July of 2011. Art therapy has long been a tool used to reach traumatized children. The program helps children bring their concerns and feelings to the forefront. “In instances of domestic violence, education is always the key. Our mission is to end domestic violence and we cannot do that without reaching the child witnesses and breaking that pervasive pattern of abuse,” explains La Pointe. Miriam Moreno, one of the Nest’s Advocates charged with spearheading the children’s program recently presented a program on healthy parenting styles to the Mescalero Head Start Program. Moreno made the point that as parents, grandparents and role models to children, we must all be more aware of how our actions affect the children around us. Shelter staff has noted the success of the children’s program. Advocates and counselors use tools such as art therapy to connect with the children. Within the safe, secure environment of the Nest, children come alive. Given tools such as art therapy, children make tremendous progress with regard to sharing experiences and fears that they might have otherwise kept to themselves. The Nest Domestic Violence Shelter serves women and children of any nationality, background or immigration status. Crisis Counselors are available 24 hours a day through the Nest Hotline 1-888-378-6378.

therapy, the symptoms can surface in later years through anger and believing that the violence was acceptable. The cycle continues with the childturned-adult following the abusive pattern he or she

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April 24, 2012  

The April 24, 2012 edition of the Ruidoso Free Press, the source for news, business, religion, education, opinion and sports in Lincoln Coun...

April 24, 2012  

The April 24, 2012 edition of the Ruidoso Free Press, the source for news, business, religion, education, opinion and sports in Lincoln Coun...