1. “A baby’s tiny developing brain is like a delicate flower. If the flower is stressed, the flower wilts. If the flower is nourished, the flower blooms.” ***
2. “Unlike other organs, the brain is undeveloped at birth, and it is waiting for experiences to shape how it will develop.
The amazing thing about the human brain is that the younger you are, the more spongelike your brain is, which is the reason why children in 3 years can learn language, can learn to walk, can do all kinds of incredible things. But the very same biological sponginess that allows us to rapidly acquire language is also the same sponginess that makes young children more vulnerable to trauma than older children.”
–Bruce D. Perry, M.D., Ph.D.
Senior Fellow, ChildTrauma Academy
3. “We have the opportunity to do police ride alongs to a domestic violence situation, and so this was actually the first call I actually ever rode along. It was dinner time, and they were having spaghetti for dinner. It was dripping down the walls. The kitchen table was overturned. And we had three children in the household.
Looking at this whole situation at the time, we said, ‘No evidence of physical harm. The kids are fine.’ We learned differently, of course. The boy in the corner [had] classic behavior that we see with kids who have chronic exposure to violence. He would just completely zone out, numb out, as things started to get scary. The six year old girl on the chair blames herself for what is going on, but actually it was four years later that we really appreciated who had some of the most profound or severe harm coming out of this situation, and that was the six month old baby who was now four and a half and had seriously injured another child in preschool.”
“…It was four years later that we really appreciated who had some of the most profound or severe harm coming out of this situation, and that was the six month old baby…”
–Linda Chamberlain, Ph.D., MPH
Founding Director/Alaska Family Violence Prevention Project
4. “Childhood exposure to violence is about living in a threatening, scary environment that may escalate to physical violence, but it often doesn’t have to. It’s the chaos, the uncertainty, the fear of being in a home where things aren’t okay.”
5. “One of the great things about brain since that we’ve learned is that till the day you die, you have the ability to add new neurons in your brain. That the brain is more like skin in the sense that it can rewire and heal itself in the most important area, the cortex. We have the capacity to heal, and do better.”
Watch “First Impressions: Exposure to Violence and a Child’s Developing Brain” below.
***Note: Like point 5 states, our brains have the ability to heal from traumatic experiences. Therefore, we do not have to be products of our environment. We CAN be new creatures in Christ! 2 Corinthians 5:7. However, it is vitally important to understand the impact of domestic violence to know how to properly heal from it.
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