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Domestic Violence and the holidays
12/15/2007 9:00:51 AM
As Christmas approaches, many domestic violence shelters around the country prepare for an increase in intakes as tension in violence prone homes escalates.  A sad, but true fact.

For years, I worked in agencies with a mission to help women and children who are victims of domestic violence and I saw the rise personally; the late night calls and shivering tranfers in parking lots to aid their escape, the vacuous stare of children who should be enjoying one of the most wonderful times of the year, but instead are in a shelter, surrounded by strangers, crying to go home, learning new rules and doing the best they can.  Heartbreaking, but better than the alternative.

I can't help but remember the women who went back, despite the safety and protection we offered.  Most returned to us time and time again until they became strong enough to leave for good and we accepted them each time, knowing that's just part of the cycle.  Some, we never saw again and we prayed that they were safe.  

A few, we never saw again because their lives were shortened by the abuser to whom they returned, sometimes within hours or days of leaving us.  Their lives are remembered at one agency with red wooden statues, just the outline, which line a hallway...a grim reminder of those we lost, those who went back one too many times.

If you are a victim, or you know someone who may be a victim, learn about the cycle and continuum of domestic violence, plug into a support group, talk to an advocate.  Know that you are not alone, thousands of women and children live on eggshells every day.  Know that there is help.

Start here:
National Domestic Violence Hotline:
and you will be directed to local resources from there.   
The number to reach them is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) 
or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)

Here's an awesome site from a DV advocate friend:
United Angels Against Domestic Violence
10 years with this essential oil company: Discounts = Earnings:

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