Archive for December, 2019

How to Help Victims of Violence Over the Holidays

December 18th, 2019 by ATV Staff

For victims of violence, the holiday season can be very stressful and uncomfortable. The thought of having to even try to put on a happy face and share in celebratory hugs and parties can be daunting.  If you know of someone who has gone through such trauma be cognizant of their feelings and position. Here are a few tips to keep in mind to try to alleviate some of the stress and concerns they might be feeling.

Don’t push them into being festive. Don’t be insulted if your friend chooses to waive the annual holiday party. They may still be harboring hurt feelings and may feel they won’t be good company at a time when everyone is supposed to be merry.

Skip the alcohol or offer other options: Alcohol can trigger negative emotions. Survivors may have emotional mood swings but you certainly don’t want to encourage them to come on. Don’t tempt drinking by having festivities centered around it. Serve a non-alcoholic punch as an option.

Volunteer together: Focusing on helping others might be a good way to help this person feel empowered and useful, while also diverting their thoughts from their own struggles.

Forgo material gifts: Your loved one may very well be in financial distress after leaving a violent situation. Suggest exchanging “favors” or handmade gifts instead of something that might cause stress because they don’t have the money.

Make plans: Even if it’s to the movies, make plans with your friend. Giving them something to look forward to and keeping them busy is always helpful.

Of course, the gift that keeps on giving is offering an ear to listen and a shoulder to cry on if your friend needs it. Your friend is most likely still on the road to healing and recovery and being able to feel safe and comfortable in expressing their feelings is a part of their healing process. You may not always know what to say but you are able to genuinely comfort this person in a difficult time.