While the holidays are a time to celebrate and reconnect, they can also be fraught with fear for those aware of potential dangers. But with the right resources and education, all individuals can learn what they need to protect themselves and their loved ones as much as possible.
Having seen several of Amudim’s PSA videos, Leah* called our office for help. A single mother of four, Leah had been hesitant to reach out as she had not really dealt with her painful situation. With assurances of no judgement, Leah relayed how a close relative had been convicted of child sexual abuse several years earlier. Her extended family knew but refused to address it.
In recent years, specifically with the widely publicized Walder events, Leah began to revolt against her family’s silence. With Pesach coming up and in anticipation of seeing this relative, Leah wanted guidance on how to speak to and protect her children during the holidays.
Our case manager applauded Leah’s efforts and validated that the holidays can be a frightening time; high stress levels combined with many responsibilities, no school and possibly poor supervision open the door to potential problems. Leah and her case manager discussed how she should speak with her children on an age appropriate level about general and personal safety. Our case manager noted that Leah should ideally repeat the process at every developmental stage, being careful to not overwhelm or scare her kids. They talked about how Leah could instead help them feel empowered: by teaching her kids the difference between privacy, surprises and secrets; by leaving space for them to ask questions; and in assuring them that their mom is a safe person to whom they can tell anything. They also spoke about how essential supervision and regular check-ins are while the kids are playing.
Leah was grateful for the time and detailed resources she gained from these conversations. She feels prepared and less anxious as the holidays draw near, and reassured that if she has any follow up concerns, assistance is just a phone call away.
If you or someone you know needs guidance or support, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Amudim is here and ready to help.
*Names and details have been changed for privacy purposes.
Each week, Amudim fields calls covering a wide range of crises and addressing various human concerns, including addiction, depression, abuse, health and domestic emergencies and many others. We track the calls and breakdown of issues for many reasons, foremost of which is to consistently improve and strengthen our knowledge and ability to address community’s needs.