By Rebecca Lynn
In May, many people scramble to find the perfect gift to show their appreciation to their moms. Sadly, not all Mother’s Days include breakfasts in bed and flowers. For those mom’s who have survived domestic violence, their Mother’s Day may look very different. Some are in shelters, displaced from their homes, or suffering from the effects of the abuse. They may be missing their family, and feel anything but appreciated.
For survivors, holidays are often stressful, a letdown, and can be a trigger to returning to their abusive relationships. Survivors with children have even more to worry about as they continue the difficult task of self-recovery while raising their family with minimal resources. Thankfully, many national and local organizations recognize the strength, determination, and love that survivor moms have for their children. Below are a handful of organizations that acknowledge the difficulties and resilience of survivor moms. Some have campaigns and fundraisers for specific holidays, while others provide year-round opportunities to support survivors with children.
- The volunteers from the H.E.R Shelter and the GROW Foundation picked up and distributed over 100 donated boxes of chocolate to survivor moms in shelters, this year. Many other organizations collected flowers and delivered handmade Mothers Day cards to survivors.
- Check your local non-profit organizations for yearly Valentines Day fundraisers and campaigns to honor the mom’s who have survived domestic violence.
- The moving company, Two Men and a Truck have gone purple to show their appreciation to mothers. For Mother’s Day, the nation-wide organization offers a program called ‘Movers for Mom’s,” specifically for mother’s who are in need and living in shelters. The company has made an incredible difference by collecting in-kind donations from local schools and organizations and personally delivering them to crisis shelters. To get more information on participating locations, donation sites, or how to become involved, visit the Movers for Mom’s website.
- The 2019 Mothers Day Card Campaign, was created by the New Hampshire Coalition for Domestic and Sexual Violence. The organization is selling Mother’s Day cards created and donated by a local artist, Amy Brnger. The greeting cards are for sale online, and all proceeds go to the Coalition organization to continue their work preventing violence, and encouraging victims to speak up about abuse.
- The Pennsylvania branch of NO MORE organization created a Father’s Day Pledge to End Gender Violence. The pledge gives men an opportunity to prevent domestic abuse. The pledge is signed online, or at a local event. Check your local non-profit organizations to see if there is a Father’s Day Pledge event near you, or you can consider organizing your own.
Domestic Violence Awareness Month
- The month of October focuses on raising awareness, breaking the silence, preventing and showing support for domestic violence survivors. Most domestic violence organizations, shelters, and agencies hold fundraisers, campaigns and community events to educate and provide resources for those impacted by domestic violence. October is a great time to research local or online organizations to see what you can do to help raise awareness.
- Suzy’s Place- Hope Empowering Women host an annual Thanksgiving Turkey Drive. They accept donations all year, and if you are in the area, would love volunteers to help distribute food to survivors. Most local shelters and non-profits have similar drives that collect food and donations to help survivors of domestic violence.
The Holiday Season
- Break the Silence Against Domestic Violence organizes a yearly program called Holidays of Hope. Holidays of Hope provides gifts to children all over the country. Participants are often experiencing financial hardship and displacement caused by domestic violence or substance abuse. BTSADV volunteers have surprised hundreds of families in crisis with gifts and support during the holidays.
- Local charities, schools, stores, churches, and individual sponsors tend to give the most to nonprofits during the holidays. There are many ways to give, providing presents, volunteer hours, or monetary donations. Checking online resources will give you a good idea of the organizations participating in making the holidays for survivors a little merrier.
- Walk a Mile in Her Shoes is an international men’s walk to stop rape, sexual assault, and gender violence. This unique fundraiser raises money for domestic violence and sexual assault shelters, as well as prevention and recovery programs. The men walk a mile in women’s shoes, high-heels to be exact. To register for upcoming walk’s, or learn how to organize one within your community, visit the calendar page located on the organization’s website.
You don’t need a holiday to support survivor moms. A little online research, or visiting local websites can provide you with a variety of ways to help. You can visit DVAM Events to see the upcoming domestic violence events in your area. In addition, Domesticshelters.org provides future event and fundraising information for both survivors and advocates. You can post and advertise an event you are organizing on the site, as well as gather resources to help you host a successful fundraiser. Donating, whether monetary, in-kind items or giving your time, allows you to honor and show appreciation to survivor moms–at times when they need it most.
If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, there is help. You can visit the Break the Silence website at www.breakthesilencedv.org or chat with one of our helpline advocates at 855-287-1777.