As the song goes, the holidays are the most wonderful time of the year! But that isn’t true for everyone. For some children in our community, the holidays are a continuation of their abusive home life.
Keep reading to learn more about how victims of child abuse often experience the holidays and learn how you can give the gift of hope to the children in our community through the Children’s Advocacy Center of Hidalgo and Starr Counties.
The Holidays Are Challenging For Victims of Abuse
The holidays are meant to be one of the happiest times of the year, but they can be a time of stress and anxiety for victims and survivors of abuse. During the holiday break, children are out of school and spend more time at home or at family gatherings. This can create a situation of fear, pain, and trauma for abuse victims, especially those suffering familial abuse.
The holiday season can also be a traumatic trigger for survivors of abuse when painful memories resurface. Some survivors of child abuse may also have strained or severed relationships with their families. During the holidays, the emphasis on family togetherness can intensify feelings of isolation and loneliness for those who don’t have a supportive or healthy family environment.
How To Give Hope: Spotting Signs of Abuse
As a parent or concerned member of the community, there are steps you can take to give hope to the children you see over the holidays. As you interact with children this holiday, keep an eye out for these signs of abuse:
- Fear or clinginess
- Nightmares and sleep problems
- Social withdrawal
- Poor concentration
- Eating issues
- Destructive behavior
- Sexualized behavior
- Withdrawal of touch
Keep in mind that these are just a few of the many different signs of abuse, and signs may vary between physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect. Seeing a few signs isn’t enough to prove definitely that abuse is occurring, but several signs together may be cause for concern.
If you have reason to believe a child is in immediate danger, call 911. To report suspected abuse, you can also call 911 or call the Child Protective Services hotline at 1-800-252-5400, toll-free and 24/7.
How CACHSC Helps Children Through the Holidays
CACHSC works with law enforcement to combat child abuse when it occurs. Through your kind donations, we offer compassionate and comprehensive physical exams and emotional evaluations to collect evidence of abuse and to limit the number of times children have to relive their trauma. We also offer counseling for children to help them rebuild after abuse, and we provide support to non-offending family members to help restore loving homes.
Give the Gift of Hope With a Donation to CACHSC
As you gather with loved ones this holiday, take time to remember those who are less fortunate, and consider giving to CACHSC to help combat child abuse in your community.
Together, we can make a difference. Join us to work toward ending child abuse and building stronger Hidalgo & Starr Counties. Your generous donation to CACHSC matters.