Safe Harbor Family Crisis Center in Galesburg will start a mentoring program for children exposed to domestic violence.
It’s called SHINE – which stands for support, hope, inspire, nurture, and empower.
“A lot of times they (children) don’t feel that, with other adults in their life, they can share the abuse that they witnessed,” said Hope Pendleton, Safe Harbor’s volunteer coordinator and community educator.
She said the children of domestic abuse sometimes, “…think that maybe they’d get in trouble for talking about what happened, or the person they talk to may not understand, but they need someone to be able to talk to about that – if they want to.”
Any youngster receiving Safe Harbor services is eligible for a mentor.
The SHINE program is scheduled to begin May 12.
Pendleton said all SHINE mentors are required to receive 40 hours of domestic violence training and 20 hours of mentor training. They are also required to undergo a background check.
Safe Harbor is a non-profit community agency that provides confidential help to those who are in violent relationships.