My mission is to help abused children reconnect and communicate with themselves, family, and friends.
Currently, I have been studying the various types of therapy used when dealing with children. The various maps that I have developed through the last couple of weeks have shown the different connections to people and organizations to understand the situation in which these children are exposed to. Talking to even just one therapist through the questionnaire has helped me understand one type of therapy. Therefore, my recent decisions of speaking to therapists of different fields will help me to better develop a solution for the abused children and understand the needs of the children in a professional point of view. The maps have helped me understand all the people who get involved when a child is abused. To speak to the different branches will help me to gain a better perspective in which these professionals experience first hand. Here is where my NFP, Crime Victims Treatment Center plays a key role. This organization is one of the largest crime victim treatment centers, with different fields studying to increase the benefits of their programs and to meet the needs of the victims. This organization is an important part of my research. Because they have much experience in dealing with victims of all ages and trauma makes them more prone to opinions of where design can be applied. Their experience and intuition in what the next steps to helping abused children is an important part of my research and design. Especially because once product and user testing is needed, the cooperation of the organization will help me learn what design changes need to be made. I therefore look forward to not only working in the research aspect with this organization but hope to get their many opinions of the design process also. Victims of abuse experience many different emotions. Children between the ages of four and seven are still very young and may not understand the situation completely. They are the second highest age group of children attacked by abusers. All these children know is that they do not like the experience but not that there is help for abuse. Many children need the responsible adults in their lives to report the abuse. In the case where abuse is reported and ACS investigates each claim, the child goes through many different changes in their life. Once abuse is confirmed, the child is put into the custody of children’s services and put into foster homes. Although foster homes may be better solutions to these children’s needs, there are many problems that are associated with foster care. Many times, different forms of abuse can occur in the custody of foster parents and can end up traumatizing the child even more. Children who have been neglected, sexually, physically, and emotionally abused, can experience many negative long-term effects if the trauma of abuse is left untreated. Some of the effects may include: not being able to trust or confide in others, unable to maintain a relationship, become involved in criminal acts, and even become abusive themselves. The effects of child abuse are severe and deserve attention. The Children’s Bureau has done their part and now design needs to step in. There are limited therapists out there working with children. Not all children have family who can afford paying hundreds of dollars on therapy. My desire is to create a product that can be used by abused children interactively, to help communicate the way they feel and think. Perhaps by collaborating music, art, and play therapy, a product can be developed to help these children work through their issues, whether it be with a therapist in a children’s center, social services, or a safe and approved guardian.