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Our Turn: COVID Year, COVID Holidays

When was the last holiday we celebrated with family and friends without thinking about COVID? St. Patrick’s Day? Now in our ninth month of this pandemic and even with vaccines in sight, we probably have another six-nine months to go for enough immunity to safely emerge from quarantine.

The impact on all our lives has yet to be totaled. Although many already feel totaled. Medical personnel are beyond exhausted. Front-line workers from cashiers to drivers are stretched to breaking as their ranks dwindle and coworkers fall ill. All of us are frustrated or scared or angry or sad. Or all of the above.

Households are in disarray like never before, with children of different ages trying to learn, remotely, teenagers unable to see their friends, parents carving out home offices at dining tables and kitchen counters, and Zoom meetings for everything from Board decisions to church to book club and teacher conferences. Conflicts are no longer over who gets the car. It’s who gets the computer.

When tensions run this high, and life is this demanding of us, domestic abuse escalates. And, abusers are working from home, as well, meaning survivors have little or no opportunity to reach out for help. Many people have no work at all and bills piling up, everyone’s schedules are disrupted, needs go unmet, and people hurt one another.

The holidays can be joyful and stressful, meaningful and burdensome, and often are a little of each. We’ve also never, ever done it quite this way before. Perhaps we can, this season, give one another a little slack, the gift of understanding, of extra thoughtfulness, shared hope and a smile. None of which has to be bought, schlepped, or wrapped.

Turning Points Network is the Crisis and Advocacy Center and Emergency Shelter for Sullivan County 24/7 with live coverage of its Crisis and Information Hotline. On a typical day we handle 200-400 calls, texts, emails, appointments and visits. From help with restraining orders, to accompanying a rape survivor to the hospital, to coping with homelessness and food insecurity, TPN provides support and safety, hope and independence to survivors of domestic and sexual violence.

Our Emergency Shelter services include transportation to medical appointments, safe placement for family pets, financial empowerment classes, individual safety planning, encouragement of personal goals and strengthening the bond between survivor parents and children.

All of TPN’s services continue to be available to all who need them during the holiday season. Our crisis, advocacy and information line is staffed 24/7; our direct services and community education programs and individual supports are accessible remotely, virtually and in-person.

OUR TURN is a public serviceseries by TurningPoints Network (TPN)serving all of Sullivan Countywith offices in Claremont and Newport. We provide wraparound supports for survivors of domestic and sexual violence, stalking and human trafficking and we present violence-prevention education programs in our schools. For more than 40 years, TPN has helped people of all ages move from the darkness of abuse toward the light of respect, healing and hope.

Help Create a Violence-Free Future

Our hope is that you will support victims and survivors by joining our growing list of supporters and becoming a friend of our organization.

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