From Secrets to Safety

Join us for “From Secrets to Safety”

brother and sisterJoin our Executive Director, Sarah Clyne, for breakfast, and this free, one-hour behind-the-scenes look at the work of ending domestic abuse.  Held at Domestic Abuse Project’s main office, you will learn about the dynamics of domestic abuse and the experience of an individual impacted by domestic violence. During this informative and moving hour you will walk in the shoes of domestic violence victims, witnesses, and perpetrators and the therapy and advocacy experiences that help them find healing.

Each “From Secrets to Safety” focuses on a specific component of our work to end domestic abuse – working with perpetrators, working with victims, and working with child witnesses. You will learn about the broad overview of our work, and then have a hands on insight into the experience of specific group therapy programs. Choose the topic that is most interesting to you!

“From Secrets to Safety” events are planned and presented by DAP staff and volunteers.  If you are interested in scheduling a From Secrets to Safety tour for yourself or your group, please contact Aaron Zimmerman at 612-874-7063 x207 or

Domestic Abuse Project’s main office is located at 204 W. Franklin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55404


Read on for a glimpse into the experience of a DAP client, which you’ll learn more about at “From Secrets to Safety:”

Ben and the Protection Potion

When Ben’s mother told him he would not be coming to DAP anymore, he was confused. He loved coming and playing with all the different toys in the play rooms, and he liked talking with his therapist, Leah. Who would Leah play with when he left? How would he know she would not forget about him?

More than anything, Ben was worried Leah would miss him too much. So he created a protection potion to make sure she would be okay when he left—that way she would always have something to remember him by.

On Ben’s last day of play therapy, he took a mason jar off one of the shelves and dumped out the contents. Then, he collected the items that he needed for his protection potion and added them to the jar one by one. As he poured some yellow paint into the jar, he told Leah, “this is happiness, so that you can always feel happy.” He added red paint to represent fifteen hearts, “in case you ever need a new heart, you’ll have fifteen extra ones” he said. He added bubbles so that Leah could have the ability to breathe underwater, glitter to represent extra lives, and finally, sand for safety. He gave his potion to Leah and told her that he wanted her to always keep it on her desk so he knew she would be protected when he could no longer come to DAP.

For Leah, Ben’s potion illustrated Ben’s healing process. Through play therapy, child clients learn how to work through their trauma by using toys to represent their reality. Ben’s protection potion signified the trust that he had developed with Leah. And this trust is key—healthy attachment to a supportive adult is an important step in a child’s healing from domestic abuse. Therapists work to create that relationship with their clients and then help them transfer that relationship to an adult in the child’s life other than themselves. Ben didn’t add anything to his potion to symbolize it, but his potion was a true sign of the growth and healing he achieved through DAP.

At the end of their session, Leah told Ben that he would always be in her heart, and that his potion would always stay on that special spot on her desk. Today, the mason jar and its contents do continue to sit on Leah’s desk, protecting her from harm.