Written By Claire Herbert, Victim Services Specialist
October, Domestic Violence Awareness month, is dedicated to providing education and awareness about Domestic Violence, commonly referred to as Intimate Partner Violence and includes Teen Dating Violence. According to breakthecycle.org, “nearly three out of four Americans personally know someone who is or has been a victim of domestic violence.” Through the Huckleberry House Transitional Living Program (TLP), we serve young people who have experienced domestic and/or family violence through our Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) program. We work closely with our young people to increase their feelings of safety and expand their support system as they transition to independent living.
Upon entering into VOCA young people are linked with a Counselor, Case Manager, Parenting Mentor (if parenting) and Victim Services Specialist (VSS). This team supports each young person develop a safety plan, begin to process their trauma, develop independent living skills, build healthy relationships and healthy boundaries, work towards educational and/or employment goals, and learn about the impact domestic violence and trauma can have on their children.
The TLP VOCA program works hard to build community among clients. There is a community office that is staffed by a Community Support Assistant (CSA) 24 hours a day that clients can visit to receive support, make food, or just hang out with staff or other clients. The CSA’s offer monthly groups to clients including cooking, exercise, learning about hair styles, knitting, and other topics clients are interested in exploring. There is also a monthly dinner held in the office for clients where they can engage with each other and their team. During dinner child-care is provided by a parenting mentor so our young people can have time to focus on themselves.
At TLP we aim to provide our survivors of domestic and family violence the tools and resources to transition to independent living and achieve their goals. Our staff does an excellent job of providing education and support to our clients and our client are great at building community and support among each other! Huckleberry House is also dedicated to providing community education to #breakthecycle of violence within our communities.
Guest Post Written by: Dana C. Love, Author and Survivor
When I felt no one could understand what I was going through, and I felt alone during the difficult times in my life, coloring helped me to cope and to heal. I’ve experienced childhood sexual abuse and domestic violence. I’ve had to have surgery to repair my brokenness. I endured the loss of my father to suicide, job loss, and experienced sexual harassment on the job. I did not enjoy any of this, nor did I ask for any of these things to happen to me.
My experiences span the time frame from a child to an adult and so the fact that I can relate on both levels is a blessing because while I may never have an answer for why I endured mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical abuse, I did overcome. Now, I am passionate about helping both adults and children to overcome their difficult times as well.
My dream is that sharing this coloring book and what coloring and being creative has meant to me will somehow assist you on your journey towards healing. It worked for me!
As a child, author Dana C. Love was lovingly taught by her mother how to color pages in her coloring books. She was taught to stay within the lines, color in the same direction, and allow her imagination to run wild and have fun. This skill would serve the author well through her life’s journey.
Dana resides in Arkansas. She is an only child and mother of two. Her passions include coloring, interior and exterior decorating, paint by stickering, staging her home with decor, reading, doodling, and laughing out loud (literally).
You may contact the author and buy her coloring book on her website.