At HAVEN, we've supported survivors of interpersonal abuse in Lincoln County for over 35 years. HAVEN advocacy has evolved during that time to meet the needs of community members experiencing the negative impacts of generational trauma that results from interpersonal abuse and violence. When people come to HAVEN, individually or with their child(ren), we see trauma coping skills in the adults, but also, we see them being developed within the kids.
Individuals who seek our services want the abuse to stop, though they do not necessarily always want the relationships to end, and we understand that. We have learned that it is possible for an aggressor to be a survivor of trauma who uses their entitlement to power and control as their coping mechanism. This is not a justification for their abusive behaviors but one reality of what generational trauma looks like.
In working with our clients, we listen to them, validate them, and help them gain insights about what has happened to them. We also educate them about available options and resources for themselves and their families and potential ways to hold those who abuse them accountable. When clients are able to feel safe and gain insights regarding their experiences, it allows their healing process to begin and amplifies their courage in taking back their lives. Because all forms of abuse destroy trust and take away basic human rights, survivors need to know they are not alone as they go through this process and beyond. When people believe in survivors, understand their situations, and provide emotional and practical support, they are helping to strengthen the community as a whole.
HAVEN provides free community education about identifying, addressing, and preventing all forms of interpersonal abuse and violence. Proactively, we share the qualities of authentic and positive relationships and how to build them. We also teach about the effects of childhood abuse/adversity on health and relationships and why that matters. We have topics for all ages. Each of the presentations is planned in advance with the class or community group to include the information requested for the specific audience.
Interpersonal abuse and violence diminish all of us. Think of all the people that you know: at least one in five of them will be affected during their lifetimes. Let that sink in. And then, please consider that what is happening now in our relationships, families, and communities—for better or for worse—will impact how the next generations will be able to live, love, and learn. That is why it is important to be aware of the prevalence, along with the help that is available.