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Our Turn: Domestic Abuse and Support over the Holidays

The holidays can be a time of merriment and gathering of friends, families, and other loved ones. But it can also be a more complex picture for those who are experiencing domestic abuse. While crisis and support lines might experience no change or even a slightly lower call volume during the holidays, this phenomenon is not due to a lack of incidents but because victim-survivors may be trying to get through the holidays for the sake of their children and other family members. It is not uncommon for calls to increase in early January with reports of incidents that occurred anytime from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day.

If one finds that they are in a domestic violence situation, it is important that they feel like they have people who support and believe them. Anyone who suspects domestic abuse taking place is encouraged to be non-judgmental and have a calm, supportive conversation to build and maintain trust. It is important to not blame the survivor for what is happening. Families and friends getting together for the holidays can help by being aware of its warning signs and knowing the resources available to help those experiencing abuse. One of the resources in Sullivan County is Turning Points Network (TPN). The crisis and support line is available for those seeking guidance on how to speak with someone about domestic abuse and for those experiencing violence themselves.

For those leaving an abusive situation over the holiday season, TPN has been able to provide merriment through the generous support of our donors. Every year, our community ensures that we can give generously to families and individuals who do not have the resources to pay or plan for gifts themselves. Last year, our donors allowed us to provide gifts to 11 families, including 25 children. This year we are exceeding that number, delivering gifts to 14 families, including 26 children. We support every individual in celebrating their holiday of significance by working closely with survivors on what they would like to make the season more joyful.

OUR TURN is a public service series by Turning Points Network (TPN) serving all of Sullivan County with offices in Claremont and Newport. We provide wraparound support for survivors of domestic and sexual violence, stalking, and sex trafficking and we present violence-prevention education programs in our schools and communities. For more than 40 years, TPN has helped people of all ages move toward living with respect, healing, and hope that we all deserve. We can be reached 24/7 on our crisis and support line at (800) 639-3130. Between 9-4 Monday-Friday, we are available on our chatline at www.turningpointsnetwork.org or by text at (603) 506-6553.

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