INDIANAPOLIS, IN — Children affected by domestic violence now may express their emotions through a resurrected art therapy program at The Julian Center, thanks to a $10,000 gift from Verizon Wireless.
The Center's art therapy program had been discontinued for lack of funding since December of last year. Recently, with the new funding, the program resumed, and children ages five to 14 began taking classes under the supervision of a licensed art therapist. Mothers also are participating in the weekly courses.
"What children fear saying is often represented in their art," said Ann DeLaney, executive director of The Julian Center, which provides shelter, counseling and advocacy services to women and children. "Children often will express their innermost thoughts through painting, using an art form rather than words to describe a harmful situation."
Psychiatrists, therapists and art educators have long documented the fact that a child's spontaneous expression through artwork following a traumatic experience can represent both emotional and symbolic communication.
Interest in artwork created by patients began in the early 20th century and led psychiatrists to study whether any link existed between the art and the illness of their patients. Since then, art therapy has grown into an effective and important method of communication, assessment and treatment for different populations, according to the American Art Therapy Association.
"We hope this artwork will help educate the public about domestic violence and bring the discussion about this issue into the open," said Pat Lewis, district manager for Verizon Wireless.
Samples of artwork from the children staying at The Julian Center will be displayed in the following Indianapolis-area Verizon Wireless Communications Stores during October, nationally designated as Domestic Violence Awareness Month:
- 6633 E. 82nd St. (Castleton)
- 1950-17 E. Greyhound Pass, #B11 (Carmel)
- 3269 W. 86th St. (Indianapolis)
- 8940 U.S. Highway 31 South (Greenwood)
- 8248A W. Rockville Road (Westpoint Commons)
- 9875 E. Washington Street (Cherry Tree Plaza)
The public also may make donations to support art therapy by sending checks made payable to: The Julian Center, 2011 North Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN, 46202.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless is the nation's leading provider of wireless communications. The company has the largest nationwide wireless voice and data network and 40.4 million customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at www.verizonwireless.com. To receive broadcast-quality video footage of Verizon Wireless operations, log onto www.thenewsmarket.com/verizonwireless.
About The Julian Center
The Julian Center is a nonprofit, United Way agency that provides shelter, counseling, education and comprehensive advocacy services for women and children who are victims of domestic violence, sexual abuse and sexual assault. Founded in 1975, it has expanded its overall counseling services to include trauma therapy related to issues of abuse and violence against women. For more information on the Web, visit www.juliancenter.org or call 317-941-2200.