HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — With Valentine’s Day and the Tremendous Bowl on the best way, many individuals see the upcoming weekend as a illustration of affection, household, and togetherness. However for home violence help facilities, this weekend is likely one of the busiest occasions of the yr.
CASA, Inc. — situated in downtown Hagerstown — is a non-profit that serves victims of home violence, sexual assault and human trafficking.
“We have now many many various providers that we provide together with counseling, authorized providers, emergency shelter, private advocacy, hospital accompaniments, and lots of, many different providers that a person might have once they’re escaping a violent scenario,” mentioned Lisa Dougherty, govt director of CASA, Inc.
Dougherty mentioned the Tremendous Bowl is a high-volume name day for organizations like CASA, Inc. because of the tradition across the day — with individuals getting collectively at events and doing issues like drink and gamble on the sport.
“Tensions can run excessive at these Tremendous Bowl events. And when these people return house, they could be intoxicated, they could be upset about dropping a guess, and that may result in elevated aggression and escalate violent habits for the family members which may be at house,” mentioned Dougherty.
Alternatively, Valentine’s Day — which this yr takes place instantly after the Tremendous Bowl — usually doesn’t end in many calls on the vacation itself. Based on Dougherty, it isn’t till the times following the vacation that the variety of calls will increase once more, as victims can typically be subjected to “love-bombing”.
“People which can be abusive have a tendency to make use of Valentine’s Day specifically as a coercive method, to perhaps bathe somebody with presents, flowers, jewellery, these kind of issues, solely to show very shortly thereafter, and proceed the violence that they that they usually do,” mentioned Dougherty. “So it sort of could be a kind of conditions the place [for] people it’s a masking factor the place it looks like it’s a really loving scenario, however the stage of manipulation and coercion that abusers use could be very misleading.”
Particularly round this time, CASA, Inc.’s administrators encourage the buddies and households of victims of abuse to be supportive of the victims and to keep away from being judgemental of the scenario.
“It’s actually tough if you find yourself a member of the family or a pal to somebody and they’re sharing [that] info with you,” mentioned Dougherty. “It’s sort of regular for us to leap in with our personal private opinions. And that may be actually harmful once we’re making an attempt to assist a home violence sufferer escape a violent scenario.”
If you need to assist with CASA, Inc.’s mission, the group has loads of alternatives to volunteer and donate to the cause.
If you happen to or a beloved one is in want of assist escaping an abusive relationship, you possibly can name CASA, Inc.’s 24-hour hotline at 301-739-8975. For Onerous of Listening to people, dial 711.