The holidays are here, and we have at least two more months of high spirits and joy to the world. As we celebrate with lots of holiday cheer, let’s not forget to use caution along the way. Be alert during this holiday season for family members that appear to be isolated or non-attentive. Perhaps they could be experiencing abuse. Abuse has many forms. Financial and verbal abuse can be silent killers in many households. Financial and verbal abuse doesn’t have visible scars or bruising on the body. Here are a few tips to help during the holiday season.
1. Active Listening- Being an active listener can be one of the greatest gifts you can offer someone experiencing abuse. Concentrate on what is being said and be fully attentive.
2. Show Compassion- Tis the season to show compassion despite the past. Don't dwell on the past. Show kindness!
3. Respect Privacy- Don’t play the blame game. Respect the sacred level of courage it takes to talk about abuse. Allow your family member to open up to you. Please don’t use force. Force may cause more harm.
4. Family Engagement- A family of togetherness is always a great opportunity to feel included. Creating moments of inclusion can be uplifting.
5. Love- Love on your family member. Love is gentle. Love is kind. Love is consistent.
Safety first! Always be alert and pay attention. The signs of domestic violence are always visible, you must pay attention. Stay woke this holiday season and help a love one or two break free from abuse. If you live in Prince George’s County, Maryland please contact the Crisis Hotline 301-429-2185 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233. If you live in Washington, DC dial 311, Maryland dial 211. Help is available 24/7 including holidays.