Child Trauma

Child trauma is one of the most devastating phenomena that plague humanity. The work comes after we make peace with the reality of its existence. Speaking of trauma, we mostly refer to the psychological impact of crime, accidents, natural disasters and yet it is much deeper than that. The trauma that afflicts children from within their families is the one that carries the strongest and most comprehensively damaging impact taking many forms: abuse - sexual, physical and psychological, neglect, violence in the family, imprisonment or criminal activities in the family, and others. Each one of these has its own set of potentially tragic outcomes. The child pays the price for everything; a price that may impact every subsequent aspect of their future lives. They are more likely to be victims of violence later in life, have mental illnesses, suffer from chronic pain, develop addictions, and have a problematic life. Unless we help.

Children at TARA have gone through severe traumas and hurt which affects them till today. TARA aims at providing adequate emotional and social support to children. Coming to TARA is only the beginning of their healing journey or even becoming aware of what they have gone through. Addressing trauma and its impact on the development of the child is the most meaningful way in which we can get involved. Long after the trauma has happened the children go through a lot of emotions that they struggle to deal with. Many times they are confused about why they are upset, irritated, uninvolved without any specific reason to which some openly share that they are sad for no reason. A child suffering from trauma can be aggressive, defensive, scared, in pain, suffering from bodily sensations that they cannot describe. After experiencing severe traumas, the auto-pilot emotions children often display are anger, aggression, and denial. The many underlying emotions are unconsciously expressed through these emotions. Many children seek love, care, and attention in a most unloving way which can be misleading yet we have to constantly remind ourselves of their very disturbing childhood and be very sensitive while dealing with them constantly reminding them of their worth. It is very important to identify each child’s individual response to trauma and help them accordingly.

TARA designed the homes with the aim of bringing empowerment, dignity, and hope to traumatized children from Delhi. A home in TARA looks like a regular home, where 20 children live together, in a place where they feel like they belong; they explore their individuality and grow in a safe and nurturing environment, focused on their well-being and care. TARA keeps a limited number of children with the aim of providing as much as individual attention to each child, and during this process of adapting to the new environment, the children start to understand their very worth. Their personal history is built and maintained: the date of birth is recorded, and subsequently, celebrated, gradually their family history is explained to them, their voices and opinions are heard. The staff in TARA are well trained to deal with children so that no further damage is done to them. Children’s Mental health is taken seriously, regular counseling both internal and external is provided according to the need. Not only the children are helped in the healing process but they are also equipped to protect them from being victims of future traumas by creating awareness and encouraging autonomy.

Photo: Posted on 29 March 2022