excerpt from Annual Luncheon speech by Barbara Siegel, Clinical Director
Our clients are remarkable women – smart, resourceful and resilient. They come from many different backgrounds and experience all the different types of abuse.
We know that when an abuser feels a loss of control, abusive behavior can escalate. Anything in their toolbox will be used to regain that power. Sadly, the coronavirus has become one of those tools.
In the past five months…
· “Julie’s” partner locked her out of the house after falsely accusing her of having the virus.
· “Sarah’s” husband, who works in a nursing home, refuses to take precautions when he comes home to her and their children.
· “Becky’s” ex-husband stole her stimulus check and refused to pay child support.
Many of our clients are experiencing constant stress, Grief, Loss, Financial ruin, Isolation and fear.
How do we help clients during this time?
SHALVA is their safe space. The clinical staff are the voices of calm and reassurance. Through our free phone counseling services, we…
· Safety plan together.
· Teach self-care, including simple exercises and routines to help manage fear and anxiety.
· Help them disengage from their abuser.
· Offer suggestions to dispel negative thoughts such as turning off the 24- hour news cycle.
· Guide them on parenting issues and ways to communicate with their children.
Most of all, we remind -our clients that it is okay to feel lost, confused and unproductive during these uncertain times. The open-endedness of this situation is difficult for all, but it is especially difficult for survivors of domestic abuse. It is important for all of us to practice self-care and believe that together we will get through this.