Even if you haven’t experienced domestic violence yourself, chances are there’s someone in your life who has.
Domestic violence wears many hats. It can be a subtle, emotional manipulation or gaslighting. Other times it can be physical and sexual abuse. It can even happen in the form of isolating finances or social interaction. Domestic violence can be defined as a systematic pattern of power over one’s intimate partner. Intimidation, assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behaviors are all power patterns over someone.
1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes, and in Florida alone, 34.2% of women and 24.6% of men will endure it.
Hope Is Not Lost
While these numbers may shock you, there is hope. The Spring of Tampa Bay and The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay are two organizations in Tampa, FL, going above and beyond to help survivors find their voice again.
The Spring of Tampa Bay
The Spring of Tampa Bay is a local survivors shelter that offers various programs to help those in the community who are affected by violence. Some of their services include:
– Crisis hotline. The organization’s crisis hotline operates 365 days a year. Staff will listen and offer suggestions for interventions, connecting callers with next step procedures and other outreach services.
– Emergency shelter. This 128-bed facility resides in a secure and discrete location. Their in-house staff provides child care and educational resources for children and adults. They also offer pet security for furry friends while their owners are seeking shelter.
– Legal representation. The Spring works with attorneys that offer pro bono services to help survivors obtain protection services.
Want to get involved? You can volunteer with The Springs’ Prevention Team who educate the community on healthy relationships and offer resources for those who need help. You can view all the volunteer opportunities The Spring of Tampa Bay has to offer here.
Crisis Center of Tampa Bay
The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay offers programs that specialize in suicide prevention, disaster relief, and trauma services. They provide in-house and online programs that include:
– Sexual assault services. These programs are geared towards anyone who has experienced domestic or unwanted sexual violence, harassment, or assault. They are a Certified Rape Crisis Center and offer to counsel survivors of sexual assault and domestic abuse.
– Free counseling and therapy. These services support survivors of any age, dealing with trauma that has occurred at any time in their life. Whether someone experienced a trauma yesterday or 20 years ago, the Crisis Center offers rehabilitation and legal resources for everyone.
Want to get involved? Their crisis hotline received nearly 500 calls from people experiencing domestic violence last year and they are always looking for new hotline advocates. The Crisis Center provides training and certifications so all you need to do is commit to the program. You can learn more here.
It’s Never Too Late To Seek Help
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or visit TheHotline.org. To learn more about domestic violence awareness and prevention, visit The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence at NCADV.org.