Christmas is meant to be a joyous occasion as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ with family and friends in our homes. Unfortunately, domestic abuse and violence creates unique safety challenges during this time of year for the woman who is living with a husband who is abusive. Like a gingerbread house, although their home may be decorated this time of year on the outside, it is fragile with a significant increase in the level of tension and anxiety on the inside. There are several reasons for this:
- Increased time off for an abusive husband
- Increased stress due to family events
- Increased financial pressure
- Increased use of alcohol
This is not an exhaustive list, but these are the concerns that I often hear spoken about by the women I work with. So, the obvious question would be, “How can a woman best navigate through the potential of increased abuse during the Christmas season to protect her home and children?” In other words, what steps can a woman take to protect her “gingerbread house”?
Along with prayer for wisdom and protection, here are eight safety tips or suggestions from The Pixel Project to consider:
- Put the right numbers on speed dial.
- Have a “safe” word or phrase
- Download a safety app (like Aspire)
- Keep some phone (and some money) with you at all times
- Arrange for an ally in advance
- Always have an audience
- Diffuse it
- Have an escape plan
For the source of and more explanation of these ideas, please go to: http://16days.thepixelproject.net/16-safety-ideas-and-tips-for-women-facing-domestic-violence-over-the-holiday-season/
If you know of someone who is in this situation, begin with prayer for God’s protection and wisdom for your friend or family member. Let them know that you are available day or night if they need to talk or find a place of safety. Check in with them throughout the holiday season and offer support and understanding. For your own safety, do not attempt to enter a home alone where abuse is taking place.
For the woman who is struggling under the darkness of abuse, I want to encourage you to know that God cares for and about you and that you are not alone. Isaiah 50:10 has this to say,
Who is among you that fears the Lord, that obeys the voice of His servant, that walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God.
Since God is our ultimate source of protection, may He guide and protect you this Christmas season. May you find a space where His light shines forth with His peace and joy in spite of your circumstances and a place of hope in the midst of His great love for you.
Warmest wishes for a meaningful Christmas celebration!
In His Amazing Grace,