Over the past month, many people have expressed to me assumptions that organizations like the WCA receive more calls for help during the holidays. However, year-to-year records tell us that this is not true. And, even on a national level, it would appear that those experiencing domestic abuse are less likely to reach out for help during the holiday season. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, calls to the hotline actually drop dramatically on major holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Some victims may “put on a happy face” while family or friends are visiting during the holidays and try to keep the peace or hold their families together. Now that the New Year is upon us and life is calming down to a slower pace for some – those in abusive relationships may have reached a tipping point.
Is your relationship abusive? Do you need help? How can you help someone you are worried about?
These are common questions we hear at the WCA.
Is it Really Abuse?
Domestic abuse involves a complex dynamic of intimidation, fear, and a pattern of control within intimate relationships. It includes physical, sexual, psychological, and emotional abuse, and affects individuals from all backgrounds.
Do you need help?
If you recognize the warning signs, please call our 24-hour domestic violence hotline at 208.343.7025 for safety planning, crisis counseling, and information referrals.
How to Help Someone in an Abusive Relationship
- Listen, believe, and validate them. Let him/her know that you care and you want them to be safe.
- Do not ask questions that imply blame. Someone who is being abused is not responsible for their partner’s choices or violence, and does not deserve shame or blame.
- Do not be critical of the abusive partner — instead make firm statements that physical violence, emotional, verbal and/or any abuse of any kind — under any circumstance, is unacceptable.
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The Compassion Project: Let us be the ones who transform our world by allowing compassion to lead our action. Throughout the year, this column will feature the various ways to have compassion for others, for our specific organization, and for yourself.
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