Surviving the holidays

November 14, 2012 

HEATHER HOLBEN WEST, Kennewick

Although the holidays can be a stressful time for everyone, abuse survivors often face special challenges this time of year. Approximately 90 percent of victims are abused by someone close to them. This means that instead of festive holiday gatherings, survivors often experience various triggers, or reminders, of their abuse.

These triggers might include interacting with their offender, coping with a divided family, or simply feeling alienated from loved ones or others.

Additionally, survivors may experience an increase in anxiety, depression, fear, shame or guilt as they face reminders of their abuse. Consequently, it is important to support survivors in our community.

We can accomplish this through an encouraging word, an invitation to a safe holiday event or by helping the survivor and his or her family create new holiday traditions. Additional advocacy, crisis intervention, and counseling services are also available for victims and their loved ones at the Support, Advocacy, and Resource Center. Please call 374-5391 for more information or for further suggestions on how to support victims in our community.

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