Cameka Crawford, chief communications officer for the National Domestic Violence Hotline, says recognizing domestic violence and educating yourself about exit strategies are the first steps to escaping an abusive situation. But what happens after the dust settles?
Overcoming domestic violence is a victory, but the aftermath and recovery process can be daunting and stressful. Many men and women struggle to return to everyday life, and find it difficult to start over and maintain their safety. That’s where the National Domestic Violence Hotline comes in, with a plan and resources to help.
“Every advocate at the hotline is trained to provide individualized safety planning,” says Crawford. “The plan is designed to assist callers physically and emotionally, and provides a blueprint for a victim to stay safe within an existing relationship or decide if they’re ready to leave. We also provide support to people who have left violent situations.”
For those who may need support while returning to work, Crawford believes it’s important to create a safety plan within the workplace that includes a support system of people you trust.
“If you are experiencing domestic violence, learn your legal rights in terms of protecting your employment. If you feel safe, consider disclosing to your employer that you are experiencing domestic violence,” says Crawford. “You can work with your employer to create a plan of action for your safety at work. It’s also important to remember to take care of yourself. This could include taking appropriate breaks throughout the day. You can also consider developing a support system that includes co-workers you trust.”
BlackEnterprise.com caught up with Crawford to talk the National Domestic Violence Hotline and her five tips for developing a healthy work/life balance after escaping an abusive relationship. Check out her tips below:
1. Build a strong support system. Talking to someone you trust, at work and at home, is important. Emotions may be high due to experiencing such a stressful situation. You want to make sure you have sufficient support in place.
2. Continue to get educated about the components of healthy relationships. Information can be found on the National Domestic Violence Hotline website or by calling the hotline at 188.799.SAFE
3. Recognize that healing takes time. Give yourself time to recover. Practice maintaining a healthy work/life balance and consider visiting a counselor to assist in your recovery.
4. Remember that you are a strong person. You’ll be surprised at how courageous you really are. Don’t underestimate yourself.
5. Trust your judgment and instincts. Eliminate self-doubt. Trust your instincts and follow your gut when it comes to your safety, recovery and growth.