A new pilot project involving Discovery House as well as researchers with the University of Calgary and Harvard University’s Centre on the Developing Child is attempting to help children traumatized by domestic violence.

Studies indicate children who are exposed to domestic violence are more likely to become abusive or victims of abuse as adults.

There has been a considerable increase in the number of domestic conflict calls. According to the Calgary Police Service, there were more than 18,000 calls in 2017, a 6 per cent increase over the five year average.

The ‘ATTACH’ pilot project focuses on providing children with techniques for addressing their feelings after encountering traumatic circumstances. The ground breaking research focuses on reflective function and awareness of thoughts and feelings, which have proven to mitigate the negative impacts of trauma if addressed early on.

“It changes their brain chemistry and the architecture of their brain,” “We want to build coping mechanisms to help them reduce the impact of the negative exposure to toxic stress.”

The pilot project is scheduled to last for three months. Each year, Discovery House assists approximately 500 children.

With files from CTV’s Kathy Le