October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Yes, I know its not October but a post like this just couldn’t wait! If you are currently in an abusive relationship I want you to know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
I, Too, Needed Help
My ex-husband was addicted to prescription medication and alcohol. I was lost, I was scared, I felt alone and stuck. He would act out then apologize. He would tell me he would never do it again. I believed him… time and time again. I thought for sure that would be the last time, but it wouldn’t be. My problem was I thought I could fix him; I thought if I loved him enough he would change. The truth was I couldn’t fix him and I needed help! I had to come to accept that even though I loved him, if I stayed with him I was putting myself and our daughter in harms way. I eventually turned to SPARCC.
Sarasota has a great local organization called SPARCC (Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center). SPARCC is the only state-certified center for domestic violence and sexual assault services for Sarasota and Desoto Counties. All of SPARCC’S services are free and confidential. SPARCC offers a shelter operating 365 days a year, a 24-hour crisis helpline (941-365-1976), and a hospital and local courthouse accompaniment.
What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behaviors used to establish control and power. It can include physical, sexual, emotional, or financial abuse. Domestic violence can happen in any type of relationship: married or not married, living together or living separately. It can happen in any city, to anyone and there is never a justified reason for it.
Are You Being Abused?
- Manipulating, intimidating, humiliating
- Name calling, put downs, threatening, blaming
- Controlling behavior, jealousy or possessiveness
- Isolating the partner from friends or family
- Shoving, hitting, pushing, punching or kicking
- Strangling, biting, hair pulling
- Assaulting with weapons
- Locking the partner out of the home
- Misusing, stealing or extorting the partner’s financial resources
- Destroying the partner’s property or possessions
- Preventing the partner from working
- Controlling the partner’s access to financial assets
- Ruining the partner’s credit
- Pressuring, coercing or forcing sexual activity
- Pressuring of pregnancy or abortion
- Harming/kidnapping or threatening to harm/kidnap children
- Using children to monitor partner’s activities
- Forcing children to witness or take part in violence
- Tracking the partner’s communications and activities on the internet
Read more HERE
If you are sure or suspect you are being abused, SPARCC is there for you! Call their helpline at 941-365-1976 (TTY) for support.
If you are interested, there are several ways you can give and help others facing this struggle.
SPARCC has a resale shop called the Treasure Chest. They are located at 1426 Fruitville Road, Sarasota, FL 34236. (View Map). SPARCC participants receive vouchers to shop for the items they need free of charge.
You can also join SPARCC’S Auxiliary, and donate household supplies or non-perishable food items. Maybe you would like to host a community event. They also accept volunteers if that is more your style.
Learn more about how you can give HERE.
**I want to add that 8 years later my ex-husband is now sober and we are in a much better place!**