Children don't forget witnessing trauma, new program aims at reaching survivors five years and younger
It's a startling conclusion among those who specialize in child therapy. "They rely on adults in their lives to keep them safe. So when that adult who's supposed to be keeping them safe, seeing that person's safety compromised, can be just as damaging as their own safety being compromised."
So what are signs to be looking for:
The most obvious is if child says something.
"Believe that child," urges Ernst. "If you don't believe them, they might be too afraid to come forward."
Kids express themselves through play.
"If they're saying words and phrases a little too adult for a small child to know, that might be a warning sign that they saw this happen."
Ernst says depending on your relationship with the child, you may want to go directly to the family as opposed to an official agency.
But there are advantages to go to law enforcement or children and family services.
"It's their job to investigate," explains Ernst. "They know how to do that. They won't ask leading questions that could damage the situation."
Penfield has a specific program aimed towards children five years and younger.
They say they work through state insurance and charge based on family income, so they can help as many families as possible.
Kohl's has helped the center set up an information website called Penfield Building Blocks click here