PADV is Here to Help

PADV is here to help survivors of domestic violence:

To feel safe at home

As you continue to navigate the challenges of staying at home and the sense of isolation it can bring, consider this: How can a survivor of domestic violence safely stay at home with an abusive partner? Sadly, we are seeing an increase in the severity of domestic violence as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting from increased stress on families with children at home, economic tensions, and abusers seeking a place to stay during the pandemic. Abusers are reaching out to their partners, appealing to their compassion, but without having done the work to change their controlling and violent behavior. PADV can help survivors find a safe place. Through our two 24-hour emergency shelters in metro Atlanta, and our supportive housing programs, we are able to offer the families fleeing violence a peaceful place to live.

To be heard and believed

The best way to begin supporting survivors is to hear their stories and believe them. Abusers often use gaslighting to manipulate the survivor’s belief in themselves and question their sense of sanity.  Gaslighting can include: Pretending not to understand when you do, labeling your partner’s thoughts as crazy or imagined, questioning the other person’s memory of events when they remember correctly, denying promises that you know you made. trivializing the other person’s feelings as being too sensitive when their reaction is normal. For this reason, survivors are often terrified when they must face their abuser in court when seeking a temporary protective order. Our legal advocates are available to help survivors prepare for their day in court and have a chance to be heard and believed. PADV’s 24-hour crisis line is another avenue available for survivors to feel heard. Many callers reach out to our crisis line seeking understanding, and reassurance that they are not at fault for the violence, which their abuser has told them over and over.

To heal

Domestic violence is not solely defined by the presence of physical abuse.  Many survivors have also experienced emotional & verbal abuse that left scars that cannot be seen. Our support groups and counseling services offer a space to end the feelings of isolation and heal from the abuse. However, healing cannot begin until the abuse has stopped. PADV’s trauma-informed care approach and empowerment-based advocacy offer survivors a way to begin constructing a path forward. PADV supports survivors in finding hope and a new violence-free life beyond the trauma they have experienced.

Everything that is done in this world is done by hope.
– Martin Luther (1483–1546)

Samantha Macedo
Vice President of Prevention and Outreach

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