Shelter’s healing arts program supports survivors of domestic abuse

Reporter: Nicole Gabe Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
The Shelter for Abused Women and Children. Credit: WINK News.

The Shelter for Abused Women & Children has set up a program for survivors of domestic abuse to flourish in a creative way by healing through art.

Art is a way for survivors to heal, to release their pain and to express their emotions. This can mean many things, but what it’s important is what it represents to the survivor who drew it.

Getting this out is the second step toward a better life. The shelter says the first step is getting out of an abusive situation in the first place.

When you’re on a plane, the flight attendant always says, in case of emergency when masks drop down, put yours on first before you help the person next to you.

We spoke to a woman who is a survivor of domestic violence. She follows the same principle. We protected her identity for the interview on air and in online publication.

“I always think of the analogy when you go on an airplane,” she said.

The Shelter for Abused Women & Children’s healing arts program teaches survivors of domestic abuse how to do that.

“It was a next step in my healing,” the survivor told us.

The program uses drumming, metal Tibetan, yoga, journaling and breathing techniques to help survivors find peace and gain strength.

Lauri Zanelli is a healing arts advocate. She says it’s all part of the process.

I work with them on changing their thoughts out of the victim mentality,” Zanelli said. “You write your story. Do you have the ability to stay stuck in this trauma to stay there, or you can read the next chapter. What does that look like?”

“It was a chance to escape and relax and detach from all of the stress from court and domestic violence, in the dreams, in the post-traumatic stress disorder,” the trauma survivor said. “It was a chance for me to experience another level of healing.”

The Shelter for Abused Women & Children also has resources for men.

MORE: The Shelter for Abused Women & Children

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