Counseling

Learn about our Counseling Services to see how we can help you

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Counseling Services

Being in an abusive relationship can be very frightening. AVDA’s counselors will help you through this difficult time by providing support and information. In addition to free, confidential counseling services for adult survivors and their adolescent children (12 and older), we offer support groups (English and Spanish), safety planning, emergency financial support, and help with education or training.

Domestic Violence Victim Support Groups

AVDA offers support to domestic violence victims through either process groups or a 10-session psychoeducational support group.  AVDA’s groups teach participants about the dynamics of domestic abuse as well as the significant consequences of children’s exposure to an abusive environment. Participants of the 10-session psychoeducational support group may qualify for a certificate. Contact AVDA at (713) 224-9911 to ask about these groups.

Our Counselors Can Also Help With:

  • Depression or anxiety
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Sexual abuse
  • Childhood trauma
  • Parenting challenges
  • Referrals and resources
  • Safety planning

Abuse comes in many forms. You may be in an abusive relationship if your partner is:

  • Physically harming you
  • Threatening to hurt you, your loved ones or themselves
  • Pressuring you to have sex
  • Acting in ways that scare you
  • Controlling you
  • Blaming you for the abuse
  • Taking money or refusing to give you money
  • Keeping you from seeing loved ones

A growing body of literature shows that children who have been exposed to domestic violence are more likely than their peers to experience a wide range of difficulties. These difficulties fall into three main categories:

Behavioral, Social, Emotional

Behavioral, social, and emotional problems. Children in families experiencing domestic violence are more likely than other children to exhibit aggressive and antisocial behavior or to be depressed and anxious (Brown & Bzostek, 2003). Other researchers have found higher levels of anger, hostility, oppositional behavior, and disobedience; fear and withdrawal; poor peer, sibling, and social relationships; and low self-esteem.

Cognitive and Attitudinal

Cognitive and attitudinal problems. Children exposed to domestic violence are more likely to experience difficulties in school and score lower on assessments of verbal, motor, and cognitive skills. Slower cognitive development, lack of conflict resolution skills, limited problem solving skills, pro-violence attitudes, and belief in rigid gender stereotypes and male privilege are other issues identified in the research (Brown & Bzostek, 2003; Edleson, 2006).

Long-term

Long-term problems. Research indicates that males exposed to domestic violence as children are more likely to engage in domestic violence as adults; similarly, females are more likely to be victims (Brown & Bzostek, 2003). Higher levels of adult depression and trauma symptoms also have been found (Silvern et al., 1995). Exposure to domestic violence is also one of several adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) that have been shown to contribute to premature death, as well as risk factors for many of the most common causes of death in the United States. (For more information, visit the Adverse Childhood Experiences.) Take the ACE Quiz
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