BCANS learns more about domestic violence

Published 4:39 pm Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Valerie Kines addressed the Beaufort County Association of Nursing Students on Oct. 24 to raise awareness about domestic violence and to promote the work that Ruth’s House does to help survivors.

October was Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Ruth’s House provides a shelter, court advocates, financial assistance and counseling to people who have survived domestic violence.

According to Kines, executive director of Ruth’s House, one in three women and one in four men will experience domestic violence. Unlike violence inflicted by strangers, domestic violence or intimate partner violence has a much larger psychological component. Kines explained the cycle of violence in which the survivor will return to the situation seven to nine times before leaving permanently. Stress will build up in a relationship until it erupts in violence.

“We call what comes next the ‘honey, baby, sweetie’ time,” Kines said.

The perpetrator will go to the hospital or the police station with the survivor. They will apologize and make promises. Then, stress builds again until violence erupts once more. The survivors will often feel ashamed or silly about reporting the violence or returning to the situation. They will cover up for perpetrator. They will return because of economics or children. People experiencing poverty have fewer safety nets and are therefore at higher risk of returning. They may not have savings, the ability to pay for childcare or transportation. If they relied on their partner to drive them to work, now they need an alternative way there.

Advocates can help a survivor leave the situation by taking care of their basic needs such as rides and shelter. They can also provide counseling to children who have witnessed the turmoil.

Ruth’s House appreciates donations of paper products, such as toilet paper and paper towels, laundry detergent and toiletries. The organization operates an antique store in downtown Washington to support its efforts. It is open Thursdays through Saturdays.

BCANS hosts speakers to provide future nurses with insight on public health issues.

The group exposes students to volunteer opportunities in the community and resources that are useful for them to know about in their future careers as health care professionals. BCANS will host a blood drive on Dec. 6 and ring bells for the Salvation Army this fall.