Where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire
That is the saying that comes to mind during these smoke-filled days that we are experiencing here in our beautiful valley. As we continue to deal with the pandemic and the emphasis on “social distancing”, now we get the added recommendations to stay indoors if the air quality is bad.
For those living in abusive situations, things can’t really get much worse—or can they?
One of the questions I have been hearing a lot from those who support our work and individuals concerned about those suffering in abusive households is “What can I do?” The outpouring of support and concern for those who need our services has been heartwarming and humbling while challenging us to do even more outreach in an effort to provide our community with specific steps that they can take when they fear for someone’s health and safety.
We recognize that seeing the warning signs during these challenging times might be even more difficult, however, it doesn’t hurt to be even more mindful of changes we notice in relationships that we have with friends, family, and co-workers. So, for example, a co-worker that used to have their video on when they participated in a virtual meeting and now don’t. A family member that was excited to participate in virtual family conference calls and now always has an excuse not to. Friends who would plan physically distanced get-togethers and now have stopped reaching out.
If you notice a change, start with some non-threatening questions or comments. I have missed you, can we arrange a time to talk that is convenient for you? Is there anything you need? Maybe you can offer to drop by something—a book, fresh fruit, anything just to leave at the door and maybe catch a glimpse of them.
When you feel something is not right, trust your gut and take advantage of the many ways the WCA can help connect someone to services. You can offer to invite them to attend a virtual tour of our services explaining that you have become interested in exploring the work of non-profits during this time period and you would like them to attend with you. You can forward some of our social media posts. If they express any concerns about their situation, you can encourage them to call our hotlines assuring them that they can remain anonymous and that this is the best way to learn about any services that might be helpful to them.
Showing someone that you care about them and are willing to listen is the most important and validating thing you can do for anyone in an abusive relationship.
Thank you for caring and for being part of our outreach network!
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