Coping with the ‘domestic violence season’

The festive season is now in full swing, and with it the holiday traditions: Taking the children to see Santa, swathing the tree with bright baubles, checking out the latest domestic violence awareness campaign… Wait, what?

Amid all the Christmas chintz and cheer, an important message is vying to be heard. Charities, activists, and public services are reaching out to those for whom yuletide heralds not peace on Earth but fear and suffering.

One in four women will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime. And violence in the home is known to peak at Christmas, making it an especially dangerous time for many.

The risk ratchets up during the holidays because abusive partners are typically home more. Spending time with family members, more alcohol than usual, financial worries, and all the other pressures of the festive season can fuel attacks – or at least, offer an excuse for abusive people to erupt.

If you’re dreading the festive season because of domestic violence, please consider creating a Safety Plan.

Photo by a_glitch

Photo by a_glitch

Creating your safety plan

  • If you’re writing out your safety plan, first consider where you can store it. Make sure it cannot be found by your partner.
  • Reach out to someone you can trust. Tell them what you can about your situation and how they might be able to help you. This could include keeping an emergency bag for you.
  • Pack (and secretly stash) an emergency bag. This should contain as many of the following items that you are able to safely set aside without your partner’s knowledge: important documents for you and your children, bank cards, copies of house and car keys, copies of important phone numbers, spare clothing, and any evidence you have relating to the abuse.
  • Talk to your children about safety. Teach them how and when to dial emergency services. Ensure they understand how to keep safe during an attack on you. There is some great advice on safety planning with children here.
  • Identify the safest room in your home, to which you can flee and lock yourself inside if an incident occurs and you are unable to leave the premises. Think of rooms to avoid when you are threatened. The kitchen, for example, contains items such as knives which make it a particularly dangerous place when you are being attacked.
  • Make sure you know how to get out of the home quickly. Identify all possible safe exits, and practice using them if you can.

Remember, you are not alone, abuse is not your fault, and it will not get better – no matter how hard you try to fix it. It is possible for you to get free and safe, so please reach out today.

Wishing you all a safe Christmas.

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3 responses to “Coping with the ‘domestic violence season’

  1. Abusers are satan’s suck-ups. And any preacher who tells women they have to put up with these selfish arse-wipes, are nothing but wolves in sheep’s clothing – and have not the light of Christ in them. Selfish arse-wipes are a blight – period.

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    • for most of the years I was married to my abuser; i went looking for ANY books that would give me any advice/help at all. christian books about love/marriage/relationship were worse than NO help at all. the ones I did find..all said the same thing ” submit, pray, love him” he will change, DON’T divorce (God will judge you if you do)..I can tell you I spent a lot of money/time/energy reading these books..and I nearly lost my faith..only when I turned away from these ‘submissive wife’ books, and reached out to others, that I began to ‘see the light’ and slowly become stronger..it still took years, but I no longer read or heed any ‘submissive wife’ teaching/messages/sermons/books..my faith in God to listen, hear, and give me any help is very little.

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  2. Pingback: Coping with the ‘domestic violence season’ | Heart of Refuge·

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