October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Domestic violence impacts every community, every demographic, across every socioeconomic bracket. Witnessing domestic violence is the most common way children experience emotional abuse, and if not addressed can lead to the opening of a dependency case. It cannot be overstated how important this issue is, the detrimental impact it has on families and kids, and how important it is to be aware of the resources in our community.
Domestic violence creates a violent and hostile environment that can have devastating effects on children, both physical and emotional. Children who have been exposed to domestic violence can become fearful and anxious, concerned for themselves, siblings, and their parents. Children exposed to violence may have difficulty paying attention and display depression and withdrawal. Children who have a parent who protects them from being exposed to violence and who have caring adults in their lives can begin the road to recovering from these impacts and have a much higher chance of not perpetuating the cycle of violence. Two organizations that work in our community to support survivors of domestic violence and work to break the cycle of abuse are Monarch Services and Walnut Avenue Family and Women’s Center. Both groups have opportunities to volunteer, so whether you can use these resources yourself, share them with those you know who need them, or volunteer, please take a look.
Monarch Services offers crisis response, emergency shelter services, community education, and other services to support survivors and the community around them. They have offices at 233 East Lake Avenue, Watsonville, CA 95076 and 1509 Seabright Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA 95062. Their bilingual hotline number is 1-888-900-4232 and their website is https://www.monarchscc.org/
Walnut Avenue Family & Women’s Center provides programs including their Early Education Center, Services for Children & Youth, Services for Survivors of Domestic Violence, Family Support Services, and Community Engagement. They have an office at 303 Walnut Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, a 24-hour crisis hotline at 1 (866) 269-2559 and their website is http://www.wafwc.org/