Showing posts from December, 2017

Making Healthy Choices During the Holidays

During the holiday season, there is an especially overwhelming sense that everyone should be with family.  This can create a sense of guilt or a feeling that you may be inferior if you are not spending time with family.  Just because it’s December, that doesn’t mean people are automatically kinder or less abusive.  In fact, the stress of the season may make things worse. 
I would like to tell you that just because the media tells you that the only happy holiday is one where you are surrounded by family at a long, rectangular table filled with food, that doesn’t have to be the case. 
I am giving you permission to still live your best life, even during December.  Just because it’s the holiday season, that doesn’t mean you need to put yourself in unhealthy situations.  Maybe that means you may not go to the large family gathering where your relatives make fun of your life choices.  Maybe that means leaving an abusive partner.  Maybe that means changing your phone number so you don’t r…

Thank You to Our Donors

I cannot overstate how grateful I am to our donors.  Throughout the year, the money and items that we receive are put to use to serve our clients in a variety of ways.  We had a donor specifically give us money so that if someone needs to board their pets to come to the Safe House, we can pay for that.  A local clothing store gives us clothing and accessories so that clients and safe house guests can replace their wardrobe, which abusers often withhold.  Local thrift stores have allowed our clients to choose items free of charge.  Many people from the community have also adopted families to provide holiday gifts. 
I wish that each of you could see the joy on our clients’ faces when they receive these things.  Often, when asked what they would like, our clients and guests struggle to think of something that they want.  Throughout their lives, they may not have permitted to think that they deserve a gift.  Even after leaving an abusive situation, it can be difficult for clients to recog…

Domestic Violence and Children

In many instances, the individuals most affected by domestic violence are children. Exposure to violence at home can lead to issues with emotions, behavior, and development. They could exhibit aggression, feel anxious, have nightmares, struggle with concentration, fear separation, and worry about their safety. Often times, the issues that are developed can follow them through life.
            The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACEs), one of the largest investigations of child abuse and neglect, found that childhood trauma, including exposure to domestic violence, can lead to disrupted neurodevelopment, social, emotional and cognitive impairment, adoption of risk behaviors, disease, and even early death. ACEs are strongly related to the development and prevalence of a wide range of health problems throughout a person’s life, including those associated with substance misuse.
ACEs Include: · Physical abuseSexual abuseEmotional abusePhysical neglectEmotional neglectIntima…

Gonna find out who’s naughty or nice…

The holiday season is looming, with parents and caregivers gearing up to manage children’s behavior with dire warnings about Santa’s omniscient gaze. Kids are encouraged to earn themselves a spot on the “nice” list, which typically means engaging in adult-pleasing pleasantries, like hugging visiting relatives, sharing toys with cousins, and playing quietly. Many well-meaning parents teach children that niceness is a virtue, and that pleasing others is a goal for which they should strive. Most parents admonish their children with phrases like, “Be nice,” “That’s not nice,” or “Nice little girls share with their friends.”  But, is “nice” really a trait that serves any person or relationship?
Children are naturally inclined to desire the praise of their caregivers. Their confidence is often derived from external sources, which can be problematic as they become adults who require healthy boundaries in order to have successful relationships. When we teach children that pleasing others is …