Domestic violence victims can turn to community for help

Feb 08, 2013

Leaving an abusive situation takes guts and sometimes it’s a spur of the moment decision for which a parent and children are unprepared.

As Killer Bees quilter Christa Malone pointed out, a mother and children may escape an abusive home with nothing in their possession other than a jacket and shoes.

That is why the group of quilters makes and donates handmade quilts specifically for children to REACH of Haywood County, a nonprofit organization that provides emergency services to victims of domestic violence.

Thank you to the quilters for volunteering to providethese children with something they can keep as their own. For 12 years, the group has produced more than 100 quilts every year for these children who are temporarily without a home.

These quilts are certain to help provide a sense of safety and comfort to the children who are directly or indirectly impacted by abuse. Hopefully, they can look back at the quilt later in life and see it as a reminder that there is a broader community who cares about them, and more importantly, that they survived.

REACH recommends that a victim of abuse have a plan of escape, especially if the person has children. The plan should include having important phone numbers and documents on hand, informing your children and neighbors to call the police if they hear anything suspicious and having several safe places lined up for when you do leave.

According to REACH, there are signs of an abusive person. Abusers can be controlling, manipulative, try to isolate their victim from friends and family and exhibit a “Jekyll & Hyde” type of personality. Other signs include jealousy, unrealistic expectations, hypersensitivity and placing blame on others.

If you are in an abusive relationship, Haywood County has several confidential resources for people affected by domestic violence.

The 30th Judicial District Alliance can provide information, assistance, and referrals to other agencies for Hispanic clients. Call 877-355-5510. Haywood County Sheriff’s Department DV unit can provide assistance with protective orders and referrals. Call 452-6666.

REACH provides a 24-hour helpline, a shelter for individuals or a parent and children, protective orders, counseling and support groups.

For more information, call 456-7898. Legal Aid of N.C. can provide legal assistance to domestic violence survivors.