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ST. GEORGE — Whereas the vacation season is broadly considered being joyful and a time to be with household, for survivors of home violence and sexual assault, it’s usually a time of sorrow and loneliness.
Advocates at Dove Middle — Southern Utah’s 24-hour company that gives a wide range of companies to survivors of home violence, sexual assault, stalking and intercourse trafficking — say it’s typical to see a lower in requests for companies from survivors experiencing home violence through the holidays. That is usually resulting from being overloaded with stress, monetary pressures, a deep want to uphold household traditions and the expectation of the vacations being the “happiest season of the yr.”
Nonetheless, simply because survivors aren’t reporting doesn’t imply home violence isn’t taking place. General, Dove Middle has seen a rise in demand for protected shelter and companies because of the COVID-19 pandemic, with greater than 300 people searching for shelter since March.
“Survivors, our shoppers, do certainly wrestle through the holidays,” Scientific Counselor Susan Ann Stauffer mentioned. “The vacations are loaded with expectations and desires. Even people who find themselves not home violence survivors can discover the vacations difficult. For survivors, nonetheless, grief is ever current.”
Loneliness additionally accompanies survivors through the holidays, Stauffer mentioned, resulting from dwelling preparations being drastically altered.
“Typically survivors are with out their youngsters as ex-husbands or companions have visitation rights on the vacations,” she mentioned. “This makes for lonely hours spent alone.”
Along with isolation and monetary stress, the vacations could be a time the place trauma and grief resurface. Stauffer mentioned trauma resurfaces when survivors are reminded that the truth of their lives isn’t the place they need to be.
“Survivors who’re searching for wholeness and therapeutic are offered with the pictures, sounds, smells, tastes and meanings of the vacations,” she mentioned, “and these impression survivors with a way of loss.”
Though the vacation season will be tough, there may be hope as a result of it’s additionally a time of giving.
“Our group is superb,” Stauffer mentioned. “They do assist, and so they do care.”
Neighborhood members who’re wanting to assist native survivors through the vacation season can accomplish that by donating on-line or by giving in-kind donations.
Stauffer additionally mentioned survivors can discover consolation by studying about native sources and making a plan for the vacations that focuses on their emotional wants.
“Survivors will be decided to create new traditions and discover actions that may enliven their creativity,” she mentioned, “and permit them to really feel that they’ve selections in life. They’ve the ability to make new recollections.”
In case you are experiencing any type of home violence, name DOVE Middle’s 24-hour helpline at (435) 628-0458 to talk with an advocate or go to the website. All companies are free, confidential and inclusive.