Sister Renée Rushton, RSHM
The Valley Family Center provides counseling and educational services for adults, teens, and children to facilitate personal growth, strengthen the family unit, and protect human dignity for all persons in need.
The Center offers individual counseling for women, men, and children who have suffered from Domestic Violence at some time in their lives. There are, as well, group counseling, and support groups for victims of Domestic Violence.
There are group sessions at the Center for the perpetrators of Domestic Violence. Most of the members of these groups have been sent by the Courts; others come of their own accord because they appreciate the need they have to learn how to be good husbands/wives and fathers/mothers.
In Anger Management classes offered individuals learn positive, constructive, and non-violent ways to deal with anger, frustration, and depression.
In order to break the cycle of violence the Center offers individual and group counseling to children and teens who have witnessed violence in their homes. Parent Education classes provide information and support to help parents in the raising of their children. The facilitators also give the parents positive techniques in the disciplining of their children.
The Center operates a Learning Center-After School Tutoring Program for children and youth who are struggling in their studies at school. Several college students have volunteered to teach in this program.
“It has been a privilege for me to work along side of such generous and dedicated people at the Valley Family Center. It is impossible to count the many women, men, and children who have been helped by them throughout their many years of service.”
“Sitting in on the sessions with the aggressors, both in English and in Spanish, I have experienced the dramatic positive changes that the facilitators make in the lives of these men. The men come into the program with a lot of anger, and they express how unjust they believe it to be to have been sent to the Center. As the weeks pass, I notice positive changes taking place in the minds and hearts of these men. They even express gratitude for having been sent to the Center. They begin to realize what they have done wrong in their lives and want to learn how to improve them. They often express that they don’t want their sessions to end.”
“I find the group sessions with the victims of Domestic Violence more difficult. I hear unbelievable sad stories every session. It is a joy, however, to note how these women, little by little, regain their self-esteem. When they leave the program, still scarred, they are able to hold up their heads with courage to begin a new life.”
“Many of the victims, who are here illegally, can apply for documents for permission to stay in the country. A history of the domestic violence they have suffered is one of the documents required. I interview many of them to help them write this. They tell me in Spanish, and I translate it into English and type it up for them. I greatly admire these women who have managed to overcome such suffering in their lives and am happy to help them in any way I can.”
Renée Rushton, RSHM