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We are a community of passionate people who are committed to transform lives through programming, products and services. We are not professional doctors, or specialists in this arena, so please seek professional help if you are in need. Check out our RESOURCE guide if you need to find a local shelter.
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Healing from abuse of any kind can be a daunting and lonely journey, which often deters those in need of services. Taking the initial step to find resources can be as simple as using the Internet. Local and national services are most current on the web and tend to offer links to adjunct resources, such as shelters, legal help, therapeutic services, support groups, employment programs, health related services, educational opportunities, and financial assistance. As abusers tend to monitor their victims actions, it is highly advised to use a safe computer or one away from home. Consulting with one’s physicians, family, friends, and church can also provide a referral path as well as another layer of support. Local police and the Department of Children and Family Services are avenues for protection and guidance, especially when the abusive is ongoing.
How to know you’re in an abusive relationship
People who are being abused may seem afraid or anxious to please their partner; go along with everything their partner says and does; check in often with their partner to report where they are and what they’re doing; receive frequent, harassing phone calls from their partner, and talk about their partner’s temper, jealousy, or possessiveness.
People who are being physically abused may have frequent injuries, with the excuse of “accidents”; frequently miss work, school, or social occasions, without explanation; and dress in clothing designed to hide bruises or scars (e.g. wearing long sleeves in the summer or sunglasses indoors).
People who are being isolated by their abuser may be restricted from seeing family and friends; rarely go out in public without their partner; and have limited access to money, credit cards, or the car.
People who are being abused may have very low self-esteem, even if they used to be confident; show major personality changes (e.g. an outgoing person becomes withdrawn); and be depressed, anxious, or suicidal.
Establishing a support system and setting up an emergency plan are critical steps for safety and recovery. Resource services can provide suggestions and guidelines for both.
KEEPING SAFE! Safety is first for all involved in any abusive or violent situation! Follow your emergency plan and contact your support system to insure that you are not alone in maneuvering these turbulent waters. Contacting the local police and connecting to applicable support groups and resources is a fundamental first step.
Statistics continue to detail the significance of treatment for individuals who have experienced trauma, especially children. Those who receive no opportunity to process their trauma in a healthy manner are more likely to commit suicide, drop out of high school, engage in substance abuse, and have behavioral disorders. GWEN offers workshops to aid individuals in healing their traumas through narrative work, replacing aggressive behavior with effective and healthy coping strategies, and reshaping negative thought patterns. It’s natural to parent as we were parented—whether effective or not—therefore GWEN offers workshops for caregivers to establish new and (more) effective tools in helping their children heal and in guiding and evolving their children’s souls.
Knowledge is power and educating our youth on the fundamentals of abuse and the basic components of healing will contribute to a healthier generation and possibly put an end to the cycle of violence. GWEN Clubs offer an opportunity for our youth to organize an empowerment group—within their community—that offers education, resources, and support for those experiencing or witnessing abuse.