Violence against children and families thrives on the silence and isolation of the victims. Often, when young people are exposed to violence they withdraw not only emotionally but also physically, jeopardizing their health in the process. In some cases they begin to act out the violence themselves, perpetuating a cycle. Proven programming like Camp HOPE engages communities, encouraging residents to bring the issue of domestic violence out of the shadows by clarifying the way that violence affects children and adolescents.
Camp HOPE America, structured around Dr. Chan Hellman’s “HOPE Theory” research, provides children ages six to 15 who have been exposed to domestic and/or sexual violence with the opportunity to get outdoors, play, and have fun. These experiences sound simple enough, but for youth whose lives have been affected by violence, they are even more crucial to recovery from trauma. The camp includes programmatic elements related to emotional care (such as nightly check-ins and positive character trait development), but the main focus is promoting healing through active play and recreation.
There are many ways that you can become a help:
- Make a pledge of financial support towards Camp HOPE America – Oregon
- Engage your friends and colleagues to sponsor a camper at Camp HOPE Oregon
- Garner support from your community organization or church to support Camp HOPE
Clackamas Women’s Services (CWS) serves as the lead service provider and fiscal sponsor for this project on behalf of A Safe Place Family Justice Center of Clackamas County.