It is a sad reality that domestic violence often worsens over the holidays.
The break from routine, the time spent at home, alcohol consumption, and all of the additional stresses of the holidays can make a pressure cooker of troubled households.
This year, the challenges created by coronavirus could well make it harder than ever. The stress and uncertainty of the pandemic has taken a toll even on healthy relationships and has worsened money worries for many families. It has created new avenues for abuse, and perhaps most dangerously kept people confined and isolated.
If you are struggling with any of these issues, it's vital that you don't let the pandemic hold you back from reaching out for the support you need this holiday season, be that dealing with money troubles, drinking problems, or health concerns that make people prone to violence, in therapeutic prevention or victim support.
If you or a loved one are struggling with domestic violence issues over the holidays, there are resources in PA that could help you.
Domestic Violence Support in Pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV) is a network of 59 domestic violence programs across the state.
These Pennsylvania help centers offer free counseling, shelter, legal, and financial support for domestic violence victims and their children.
You can find your closest domestic violence program with their directory. There you can find support that is local to you. Alternatively, you can call the national hotline, which has advocate support in over 200 languages, on 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), or you can chat online.
Help centers such as the Southwestern Pennsylvania Domestic Violence Services have a free, confidential 24-hour hotline with trained counselors which you can reach on 800-791-4000, as well as safe houses in Washington and Uniontown for victims of abuse and their children. There are more than forty safe houses run by other authorities all over the state.
In spite of the challenges posed by the pandemic, these domestic violence services are available to anyone who needs them, including over the holiday season.
The Types of Help Available
Domestic violence services in Pennsylvania can provide immediate emergency help either on the end on the phone or in the form of temporary emergency housing if you have fled your home.
A domestic violence safe house can shelter you and your children. There will be advocates onsite available to help you at all times. These advocates are equipped to provide support and counseling, all of which is free and confidential.
From there, they can also help with longer-term planning and support, giving you information and referral to community resources, including individual and group counseling and children's services.
To tackle the issue of domestic violence in Pennsylvania, there are also support services that can help deal with some of its root issues. Many of these services can be accessed virtually, such as
- Anger management programs and counseling
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Alcohol and substance abuse programs
- Debt support programs
Seeking help for issues at home early on can save a lot of suffering for everyone involved.
If you are facing allegations of domestic violence, attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm can provide compassionate and effective legal representation. For more information, contact us here or call 888-535-3686.