Independence Day for abuse victims

Published 12:40 pm Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Suffering in an abusive relationship is the opposite of freedom and independence. As we celebrated Independence

Day this year, we acknowledged again our country’s ongoing work to break down the barriers to freedom, justice, and equality to all.

While the word “independence” is universally associated with sentiments of growth and relief, for the women and men that survive relationship violence, the positive effects of leaving their abuser are not at all as instant.

In fact, once a victim leaves their abuser, that immediate exit period actually becomes the most unsafe timeframe for the victim.

According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, as the victim’s departure signifies the abuser’s loss of control over the survivor, the behaviors of the abuser can escalate in an effort to regain power.

If you’re worried about what will happen if you leave — you may be afraid of what your abusive partner will do, where you’ll go, or how you’ll support yourself or your children.

But don’t let fear of the unknown keep you in a dangerous, unhealthy situation. You can leave, you can survive, and the longer you are away from the abuser the clearer it all becomes. You will become stronger, you will gain your independence, you will become free from the abuse.

With Inner Banks Hotline at your side every step of the way, you are never alone on your journey to freedom and independence.

As a victim of domestic violence, these free services are available to you on your path to freedom and independence: (1) Financial Assistance; (2) Help with housing; (3) Accompaniment to court, community agencies, and/or hospital; (4) Counseling; (5) Advocacy; (6) Transportation; and (7) Safety assessment and planning.

With our services and your newfound strength, you will move from victim to survivor! Take the first step to your freedom and independence and call Inner Banks Hotline. Freedom is control in your own life!

For help and support from people who care, the 24-hour crisis line number is 1-877-429-5526.

“The freedom to be yourself is a gift only you can give yourself; but once you do, no one can take it away,” wrote Doe Zantamata.

Inner Banks Hotline offices and thrift store are at 507 US Hwy 64 East in Columbia (beside Family Dollar); telephone 252-796-5526.

Thrift store hours are Monday–Friday 10 AM to 5 PM. Donations are accepted in the back in the open carport.

Inner Banks Hotline staff members are: Janie Spencer, Executive Director; Jasmine Spruill, Client Advocate; Angela Roughton, Community Advocate; Gloria Owens, Thrift Store Manager; and Courtney Spencer, Faith/Hispanic Outreach Advocate.