DeeCilla Works To Answer The Call
Throughout the course of Domestic Violence Awareness month, it is important to discuss issues that affect communities of individuals. However, it is just as important to discuss how exactly these issues come to fruition and affect a single individual. If we look at these personal issues on a microscale, it may be easier to understand the individual and develop systems that will not only help them, but the communities around them which may also endure unpleasant predicaments.
We can begin opening up discussion by acknowledging the unique challenges single-mothers may face when leaving abusive or unhealthy relationships. Amongst the most prominent challenges for mothers who are experiencing domestic abuse, is leaving. On average, it will take her about 7 attempts to successfully leave the abusive relationship, usually because of further strain from the abuser and the lack of resources to reach a safe location. Conditions such as the recent COVID-19 pandemic only exacerbates the situation, therefore making it even harder to leave and an abusive relationship for some people. Many mothers may not have the financial means to leave an abusive home with their children. Additionally, they may not have access to transitional housing that can cover the needs of the survivor and the children. This is a trend currently observed by DeeCilla Comfort Center and close partners.
To combat this tough situation, mothers may find it most useful to look into programs offered by DeeCilla Comfort Center. The center receives referrals from local shelters to place women and children in transitional housing. DeeCilla’s program will provide temporary housing to eligible women and children for up to six months to help them begin the journey of working to find a permanent home of their own. In fact, the tag line of the program is “The Journey Home.” It is a vigorous program, yet they believe in the women and want them to know they have a community that stands behind them as they work to achieve their goals. Having a support system is imperative to their success.
Though we hear of it less often, men also experience domestic abuse. In fact, about 1 in 9 men experience some sort of physical violence by their partner. Oftentimes men will experience verbal and emotional abuse through receiving unjust judgement, belittlement, possessiveness, and manipulation. Men are also more likely to lose custody battles which may have been brought upon by an abusive partner. This in turn will not only isolate the father, but potentially put the children in harm's way by having them remain in custody of an abusive mother. Additionally, a man who may be a part of the LGBTQ+ community is also likely to receive violent threats. Male survivors often find themselves unable to leave an abusive situation due to fear of being ashamed, religious beliefs, and harmfully denying the fact that they are being abused. We must understand these male-specific concerns in order to develop a plan to connect these men to the appropriate resources to leave an abusive situation. Amongst others, it is recommended that men reach out to trusted loved ones and resources such as those provided by Men’s Resource Center to gain the support needed to maneuver their way out of dangerous situations. Currently, DeeCilla does not have a specific program for men, yet it does work carefully with mothers who have young sons to address both potential victimization and victimizers. The key is to focus on teaching and building healthy relationships, starting with healthy parenting to prevent mothers from parenting through trauma and abuse which may lead to generational cycles of abuse, even unintentionally.
Trafficking is a huge threat to individuals all over the world including the U.S. The significance of this issue is put into perspective when it is understood that about 50,000 individuals are trafficked into the United States yearly. About half of active trafficking in the U.S. is made of children, predominantly young girls entering trafficking at ages as young as 12 years old. Unfortunately, girls running away from domestic sexual abuse are most likely to fall victim to this system. This statistic only strengthens the notion that we must work together to provide safe transitional homes for younger people as well as tending to existing domestic relations in an effort to avoid these situations. In addition, trafficking tactics are becoming more subtle and widespread like starting off with misleading text messages to steal personal information and eventually result in abduction. It is important that we raise awareness to these issues because our discussions and connections can truly save lives.
We aim to shed light on these seen yet unseen populations, to bring awareness to more specific issues as it relates to Domestic Violence. DeeCilla Comfort Center has established transitional homes to aid in working with these vulnerable populations. No two roads are exactly the same, so we take extra care with each person, remaining sensitive to their needs. We want them to understand that they are seen, heard, and respected for who they are as an individual, therefore we will work tirelessly to help meet their needs and help Change Their Life!
Meet The Author
Emily Falcon is a Cuban-American student studying pre-med at Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL. She is also an undergraduate Research Assistant for Gulf War Illness clinical trials at NSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine.