We are flooded with news stories about domestic violence on a regular basis, from celebrities to local stories about murder-suicide. According to the CDC Division of Violence Prevention, more than one in three women in the United States have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime. Many times, victims suffer privately to hide the evidence of domestic violence. Catholic Charities is now offering, Pathways, a free outpatient counseling to those involved in abusive relationships.
Jackie Jarvis, counselor for Pathways, says that most victims are in desperate need of support such as a friend or professional counseling. “Domestic violence is isolating, a lot of the time the abuser cuts the victim off from having personal relationships with others,” said Jarvis. “It is our responsibility to step up and offer support to victims at the first glimpse of abuse; it could save their life.”
She offers tips on what to say to a victim who says they cannot leave their abuser.
- I am afraid for your safety.
- I am afraid for the safety of your children.
- It will only get worse.
- There is help available.
- You don’t deserve to be abused.
Pathways counseling is available for victims of domestic violence free of charge. The program is geared for victims who are considering escaping an abusive relationship, but don’t feel the need to go to a domestic violence shelter. “It’s a good option for victims who want to take the first step in the right direction,” says Jarvis. Counselors work with victims to create a safe transition out of abusive relationships.
For more information about Pathways counseling, please call Maricela Mata at 602-749-4405. For media requests, please call Mary Hickey Reynoso at 602-885-7047.