Lil Bug Love is an inspiring social enterprise, the work of Brisbane based mum, Cindy Barden. Cindy is on a mission to create comfort kits for kids whose mother or caregiver are escaping domestic violence.
Cindy found herself in a relationship that rapidly turned to domestic violence. During this time Cindy’s daughter was exposed to the abusive relationship and developed severe anxiety. When Cindy escaped, her daughter was too scared to leave her mother’s side and she was faced with having to give statements to police with her daughter present. That meant her daughter had to hear every horrific detail of the statements, and she had to keep hearing it over and over again as statements were made to a variety of legal and support services throughout the process of escaping and re-building a safe life.
Cindy wanted to show her daughter that the painful experience wasn’t in vain, and that their situation will help other children who end up in police stations listening to all the details of the abuse and feeling scared. This is when Lil Bug Love was born.
Lil Bug Love kits are housed in a beautiful canvas bag with handmade toys to cuddle, colouring/activity books including blank pages so the kids can express themselves, pencils, pencil case and a set of headphones so they don’t have to listen and can tune out. Cindy believes these kits are simple but powerful and they will reduce the trauma children experience when fleeing domestic violence.
Cindy knows she can’t stop domestic violence, or change the way adults treat other adults, she couldn’t even change it for her daughter but from this experience she is determined to help comfort other children who need comforting. Cindy says “By giving kids whose mums are escaping domestic violence a little bit of love and comfort during a terrifying time, we can stop continually re-traumatising them. We can let them feel safe, loved and start the healing process.I know from my own experience that a comfort kit would have made the world of difference to my daughter and reduced her experience of being re-traumatised”.
The kit itself is held in a sturdy canvas bag. Many children fleeing domestic violence have to leave with only the clothes on their back and this bag holds their only belongings. Lil Bug Love kits will help children of domestic violence to stop being re-traumatised and enable them to start the healing process.