When battered women elect to come to a shelter, they are often escaping from a severe assault, leaving in the middle of the night, and taking their children and possessions with them to an unknown place. This stream of events often leaves the women and children confused, anxious, and eventually angry. Yet the women must assume complete control over their children, at a time when they may feel least up to the task. In addition, children who have been traumatized by violence are often agitated and aggressive, making the mother's job even harder. The problem is further compounded by having so many children in the same small space. Thus, support for the development of parenting skills is routinely provided in battered women's shelters. These groups focus on behavior management techniques, on identifying children's feelings, and on children's developmental needs.
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