The experience of child abuse and family violence rocks the very core of children. It changes the ways they understand their world, the people in it and where they belong. They develop distorted rules about relationships – ones that are built on mistrust, fear and betrayal. They feel out of place in their family and with their friends. They feel separate and alone. The memories of abuse are pronounced and ever present. Small reminders may cause them to relive their fear and confusion. The world itself, is experienced as dangerous for abused children – a place without haven or safety.
Hope is the outcome of change for children. It is like a wave that carries them into the future with fun, enthusiasm and optimism. Hope is the first moment in time when they dare to dream. For these children, hope comes from feeling that their experiences of abuse no longer separate them from their friends and family. They know that they do not have to feel alone any more. They start to really feel a sense of safety in themselves and in those around them.