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Knowing when more help is needed to make it through

The Lakeville Journal Editorial

One of the repercussions of dealing with a worldwide pandemic has been a loss of general personal stability, a feeling of insecurity, and that affects all of us: children, teens, adults, seniors. Now, even with good vaccination rates in the Northwest Corner, that sense of monumental change that is completely outside our control hasn’t really abated.

As has been reported widely, this instability has led to higher rates of domestic violence in the country over the past two years. Some of us may think that this ongoing challenge doesn’t need as much attention as it did at the start of the spread of COVID-19, but the cumulative effect of the coronavirus may not be so easily defined or understood. After all, we are still in the middle of it, which makes perspective difficult. The first step to decreasing incidents of abuse is better understanding its many different forms.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, so a good time to become better educated about options if one is living in an abusive environment, or knows someone who is dealing with abuse. Domestic violence is defined in different ways, and is sometimes insidious. According to Sharon’s Women’s Support Services website, www.wssdv.org, domestic violence can be defined as a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner. Abuse is physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions, or threats of actions, that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that frighten, intimidate, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure or wound someone.

The fabric of this bucolic region can be hard to see clearly and fully at first glance. This is the season when small New England towns like those this newspaper covers present welcoming and iconic beauty in their fall colors and traditions. These are a comfort to many of us who felt their normal lives slip away during the pandemic. But for those who may feel threatened in their own homes, rather than feeling safe and protected there, more help is needed to guide them through these difficult times.

There are resources that offer such support in the area. Call Women’s Support Services at 860-364-1080 or go to their website, or call the Susan B. Anthony Project at 860-489-3798, or go to their website at www.sbaproject.org. The annual Candlelight Vigil to mourn those who have lost their lives to abuse, and to celebrate those who survive, will be at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 14, this year at the Town Pavilion on East Main Street, at the intersection of routes 44 and 7 in North Canaan.

So take in the joys of the season, and help others in your life to do the same. As for the challenges all of us face: With support and understanding, life can seem better. Let’s all be aware that many of our problems are shared by our neighbors. To make it through this time, we will all benefit from reaching out a hand to help those around us as we try to make sense of the best ways to deal with the next stage of this pandemic.

 

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