While traditional anti-domestic violence organizations can be a crucial source of support for survivors, they are often the last resource a survivor connects with. Most people initially reach out to their friends, family, co-workers and community groups before contacting an anti-Domestic Violence organization, and most never involve law enforcement. For this reason, engaging a survivor’s support system and providing skills and strategies for giving emotional support and addressing safety concerns is a powerful and necessary way to prevent and effectively respond to domestic violence in our communities.
At W.O.M.A.N., Inc., we frequently receive calls on our support line from the friends and family members of a survivor. They might understandably feel unsure of how to be helpful, and may feel scared for their loved one and overwhelmed by the situation. Staff members Jill Zawisza and Lily Krutel facilitated an ongoing education meeting on this topic in June so that our advocates feel better prepared to support these community members. We’re excited to offer more trainings on the topic and to help bolster up community responses to domestic violence.