Hope for the Holidays

The holidays hold different meanings for everyone.  Many survivors face obstacles to the enjoyment many people assume everyone feels this time of year.  If you are a survivor and need help facing any of the following obstacles please call our hotline (771-7273) and get help.

- The survivor may not have disclosed the abuse or may not have been supported by family after disclosing the abuse.  This leaves the survivor with the choice of returning home to spend the holidays with the perpetrator and/or hostile family members or to be alone.

- If the survivor reported the abuse and was supported by family, it may still bring up many unpleasant memories to return home for the holidays.

-  Many people drink more than usual over the holidays.  Alcohol is a depressant and is the most frequent substance used in the facilitation of sexual assault.

-  The holidays frequently involve religious activities.  If the survivor was assaulted by a member of their religious organization it may be difficult for that survivor to participate in faith based customs.

- When a survivor is dealing with depression following an assault, the societal pressure to be merry can intensify the symptoms of depression.

If you know a survivor who is struggling with the holiday season, please respect their limitations.  It can be helpful to offer alternative activities or gatherings.  The most important thing you can do is to believe the survivor and encourage them to get help.