A 34-page graphic novel was written by Alice House counsellor Lori Morgan with the intention of helping children understand domestic abuse. It is titled Healing the bruises: through the eyes of a child: a journey from domestic abuse to safety. The main character, Julia, shares her thoughts and feelings throughout her journey. The graphic novel was launched in October 2011 and 3000 copies were donated to Nova Scotian schools, community organizations, parents, and professionals who assist families in crisis due to violence.
“Kids need to know they are not alone. Between 85,000 and 362,000 children in Canada witness domestic abuse every year. The story of Julia and her mom is all too familiar.”
- Heather Byrne, executive director at Alice House
"The topic is presented in such a way that it is understandable for young readers.”
- Aleksandra Baran, TEACH Magazine
“Beautiful illustrations along with the straightforward text allow the child and the parent to relate to the entire story, like an ode to wellness and renewal. If you know someone young or old struggling with abuse issues, this little book will lift and enlighten.”
- Jann Arden, Canadian singer-songwriter
Questions and Answers
Q: What is the purpose of the book?
A: Children exposed to intimate partner violence need to have hope that life will get better. The story of Julia explores what a child can expect to go through when their family is fleeing intimate partner violence.
Q: How old should you be to read the book?
A: The book is best suited for children aged 8-12 years old. Large pictures of the characters are accompanied by short paragraphs of dialogue. It is 32 pages long.
Q: Where is the book available?
A: You can purchase the book on Amazon.ca and on Chapters.Indigo.ca. You can borrow one of seven copies from Halifax Public Libraries. There are also copies available across Halifax in schools, community organizations, and professional offices. To see a sneak peak of the book, visit Google Books.
Q: I want to buy the book. How much money is it?
A: The book is available for about $10.00 on Amazon.ca.
Q: Is the book relevant for people outside of Nova Scotia?
A: Yes, children living around the world can connect with Julia’s thoughts and feelings throughout her journey. While many of the resources mentioned in the book are located in Nova Scotia, there are also Canada-wide resources listed such as Kids Help Phone.
Q: Is this book based on a true story?
A: Yes, 379 children have accessed the services of Alice House with their moms since 2006. While Julia and her mom are fictional characters, our counsellors meet many people just like them. All programs and phone numbers listed in the book are real.