Children and Youth Program

The Children and Youth Program provides services that give children and youth the opportunity to unlearn attitudes and behaviors that could otherwise cause them to perpetuate the cycle of violence in their adult relationships.children-program

  • Individual counseling sessions are available by appointment in order to help children and teens understand that domestic violence is not their fault and to teach them alternative coping skills. Please contact our Watsonville or Santa Cruz Office to make an appointment.
  • Support groups for children and teens are held concurrently with the women’s domestic violence and sexual assault support groups on Tuesdays (6:00 – 7:30 pm) in Spanish at the Watsonville office and in English at the Santa Cruz office on Wednesdays (6:00 – 7:30 pm)
  • Children and Youth program staff also conduct educational/support groups at several high schools, which include group counseling, and domestic violence and sexual assault prevention education.

Dating Violence

What is dating violence ? Any behavior in an intimate or romantic relationship that tries to establish an imbalance of power and control between the couple.

* 1 in 3 teens have had an abusive experience

Voltage: Causing tension and stress. The victim attempts to control the situation to avoid the anger of your partner

Violence : Explosion of abuse. Initially, the shorter the cycle but over time period grows in frequency and intensity

Honeymoon : Reconciliation. The / the “promise” not to commit abuse again. Violence is minimized.

Types of Violence

Types of violence

Verbal: Using words to criticize, humiliate and abuse your partner

Emotional: It shows jealousy, depression, insecurity, anger, passion, and frustration. Ignores or ridicules the feelings of your partner. Threat and frightening at him. Destroys property or objects bankrupt ones

Psychological: Control what your partner does , who look, who you talk to , what you read, and where it goes

Economic : Using money to control the engagement

Sexual : Mocking the body of his partner. Treating your partner as a sexual object

Physical / Isolation : Using physical violence to cause injury. Separate your partner from family and friends

Digital: Harassment through technology. For example, a cell phone ( calls and texts in excess) and the social internet (Facebook , MySpace, etc.)

A Window Between Worlds

hurt-lastimadaUsing a therapeutic art program called A Window Between Worlds (AWBW) we are now able to offer children and teens a different medium by which to express themselves. By creating art projects, this new model allows children and teens to rebuild their self confidence, and also gives them a positive way to handle the various emotions they may be experiencing. For more information about AWBW, you can log on to their website at or call one of our offices.


  • Living with domestic violence can take a lasting toll on children. Nationwide, it is estimated that between 3.3 and 10 million children will witness domestic violence each year. .
  • Children who witness domestic violence are 10 times more likely to batter or be battered than children who do not witness violence in the home.