Welcome to our Holiday Toolbox! NRCDV has released information to the field, including Technical Assistance (TA) Guidance documents, as part of our Domestic Violence and the Holidays Series in preparation for the time period beginning the week of Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day (“the holidays”). These were developed to 1) respond to the common misperception that domestic violence increases during the holidays, and 2) provide support during a time that may be stressful for survivors of domestic violence and the programs that serve them.
Available research linking reports of domestic violence to the holiday season is limited and inconclusive. In fact, data available from the National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH) shows a decline in the number of calls received during the holidays, including on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day (see Effect of the Holidays on Calls to the National Domestic Violence Hotline). Whether or not domestic violence programs experience shifts in the number of survivors accessing services during the holidays, there are unique opportunities and challenges to consider as victim advocates provide services to survivors and their families during this time.
The resources included in this Toolbox highlight trauma-informed strategies to support programs in promoting healing, wellness and safety during the holiday season, while taking into consideration the diverse needs of survivors and the advocates that serve them. Each TA Guidance document provides best practice information and resources related to: positive visioning, promoting wellness and managing stress, cultural sensitivity, responding to the food-related needs of survivors in shelter, considerations for working with survivors from specific populations, and understanding the available research.
The Toolbox features holiday call data from the National Domestic Violence Hotline, and a social media section offering messaging to engage audiences around supporting survivors during the holidays via Twitter, Facebook and other channels.
These tools are offered to inspire and support community-based programs in their efforts to develop innovative, trauma-informed, culturally inclusive practices that are responsive to the unique needs of both survivors and advocates.