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Build-A-Bear supports children’s therapy at Women Against Abuse

Women Against Abuse received a grant from the Build-A-Bear Workshop Bear Hugs Foundation to support healing and recovery from trauma in children survivors of domestic violence residing in Women Against Abuse’s safe haven.

Women Against Abuse operates the only safe haven for survivors of domestic violence in Philadelphia. This safe haven provides safety, counseling and resources to 580 women and children each year. Last year, 44% of residents were young children less than six years old. Women Against Abuse is committed to providing young survivors with the resources they need to support their health, well-being and education during this vulnerable time of immense transition. To this end, children’s therapy helps make a tangible difference in promoting healing, confidence and self-esteem.

Women Against Abuse therapists aim to help children understand and grapple with the many adjustments they have to make in arriving at the shelter as well as the violence they may have witnessed or even experienced at home. Due to short stays, therapists have noted the need to engage children with short-term, high-impact interventions. Dance and movement therapy exemplifies a healthy, physical and emotional way of engaging with one’s own body, with one’s peers, and with one’s surroundings. It provides a powerful means by which children can begin creating a narrative for themselves as to what they’ve experienced; an outlet for expressing intense emotions that children are too young to have language to fully communicate; and a tool that children can keep using in the future to cope with and manage symptoms of trauma, anger, aggression, anxiety and depression.

The Build-A-Bear Workshop Bear Hugs Foundation is committed to making life more bearable for children, families and pets, who are in need of a helping paw. With the sale of each Champ – A Champion Fur Kids -- a special furry friend available in all Build A Bear Workshop® stores, one dollar is donated to children’s health and wellness causes.  Funds are available to qualified non-profit groups in the United States and Canada through the foundation’s grant process. Visit www.buildabear.com for more information.

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