Written by Sheryl Johnson, NAM's Family Violence Center Director
While many in our community celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, the Winter Solstice and other events of the season; others are hiding from family, friends and neighbors. They are hiding from their partner who is intent on hurting them and hiding from others to keep the secret. Nearly every day we hear or see another story about violence that has occurred between partners, spouses, or dating companions.
The sad part is that we only hear about a small percentage of domestic violence cases - the ones that become deadly. For every case we hear about in north Houston, there are thousands of incidents that do not make the evening news or trending online reports.
There’s a woman who has been told she won’t be allowed to buy their three children’s holiday gifts, or the man who was left at home without access to his wheelchair, or the young woman who is sporting bruises from her beating last night or the teenager who was called degrading names by her boyfriend.
During this season of giving, perhaps the best gift you can give is time. Time to check on your family members, your friends, your neighbors; and don’t forget those in your religious community, school, or social group. If something isn’t right, let them know it isn’t their fault. Let them know it usually gets worse and not better. Let them know that there is help.
NAM’s Family Violence Center has trained advocates ready to answer calls from anyone in the community. They are able to be that listening ear, offer suggestions, help create a safety plan, and help figure out what safety might look like for the caller. This season help those you love and care about be safe.
Call the Hotline at 281/885-4673. Calls are answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and all services are FREE.
Watch and share the video version of this blog here: Youtube link