Support Survivors and #GiveAtHomeMN
|From May 1st – May 8th, Minnesotans are participating in a
week-long virtual fundraising event, #GiveAtHomeMN! |
Throughout the week, people are coming together (while
staying apart) to support the important work of nonprofit organizations like
CADA. Your donation to CADA through giveMN.org can help CADA become eligible
for additional bonus grants!
CADA staff and advocates are busier than ever responding to
the increase in relationship violence due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Domestic
and sexual violence is on the rise and we need YOUR help to make our
A gift in any amount makes a huge difference and will imediately be put to use to support individuals and families staying in shelter, staying in hotels, and accessing CADA's life-saving advocacy services.
If you’re not in a position to give right now, you can help
by sharing CADA’s campaign website with your friends and loved ones or on your social media page!
Violence and Mental Health
|May is Mental Health Month and this month we are thinking about
the numerous survivors CADA works with day in and day out who are experiencing
mental health concerns because of the trauma and violence they have endured. Living through a global pandemic can trigger many of the emotions
and sensations that victims and survivors experienced while living through the
trauma of relationship violence or sexual assault.
In the earlier days of the pandemic, many of us experienced
a feeling of being completely overwhelmed by the fast pace of things – it all
seemed like too much too fast. The news
and the rules were changing minute by minute. For survivors of trauma, ] this feeling of too much too fast can bring up feelings of being totally
out of control – a common sensation for victims of abuse, violence, and trauma. Being overwhelmed by circumstances out of your control and feeling like you can't slow down to catch up is a common experience in the pandemic and for those who have suffered trauma.
Trauma experiences are events where one may feel like their life
is threatened or at risk. At CADA, we work with people whose lives are threatened by an incident violence or an
ongoing experience of living through relationship abuse. In these moments where our life is put at risk, we
revert to our basic responses of fight, flight, or freeze. The pandemic can
trigger familiar feelings of being physically or emotionally overpowered, immobilized,
or under attack. Victims may experience similar feelings and sensations that they experienced while surviving abuse or violence.
Healing from trauma and addressing mental health issues are rarely, if ever, linear processes. There will be hard days, weeks, or months.
There will be setbacks and new challenges will bring up new issues for our brains
and bodies to cope with. All trauma responses are very normal reactions to very
abnormal circumstances. Since Mental Health Month falls in the midst of the
global pandemic, it is a nice reminder to be kind to ourselves and one another.
Reach out to your friends and loved ones to check in. We are all in this together and we
are not alone.
Supporting Survivors During the Pandemic
|There is no doubt that these are extremely challenging times
for most people. CADA advocates are seeing the many ways those experiencing
relationship abuse or sexual violence have been impacted by the pandemic. |
Across the south central Minnesota, CADA advocates report an
increase in the number of people reaching out for services and an increase in
the supportive services people need right now. For example, in Brown County alone, the
number of phone calls the two advocates took nearly tripled in April. Advocates have said that victims need a lot of
emotional support right now. Many victims are trapped at home with an abusive partner, and on top of that are trying to school children
at home, shield children from witnessing or experiencing violence, and struggling to pay bills. Some advocates noted that many individuals they're talking with have mental health issues that were triggered or made worse because of the pandemic.
Advocates also say that victims are struggling as the courts
have had to make changes in response to the pandemic. Many court hearings have
been postponed and if a hearing remains as scheduled, people are struggling to
figure out how to appear by phone or video. A normal part of an
advocate’s job is to help prepare victims and survivors for what the court
process looks like, but right now, this is challenging because things are
changing from day to day and every hearing looks different.
Victims and survivors are also dealing with financial
struggles, as many people are right now. Many people calling CADA are struggling to meet
their basic needs because of job losses or layoffs. Additionally, people are
running into challenges in accessing community services or resources as they normally would have.
When advocates were asked what they wanted victims and survivors in our communities to know right now, everyone said that they want victims to know there is help out there. “Whenever you’re ready or it
is safe to do so, please reach out. We are here,” said Julia Hamman, one of CADA’s
Blue Earth County Advocates. Advocates are able to meet over the phone, or in person if it is not safe to do so over the phone. CADA is here for you!
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24-hour Crisis Line: 1-800-477-0466
Blue Earth County: 507-625-8688
Brown County: 507-233-6663
Faribault County: 507-526-5275
Le Sueur County: 507-934-5583
Martin County: 507-399-2001
Nicollet County: 507-934-5583
Sibley County: 507-233-6666
Waseca County: 507-835-7828
Watonwan County: 507-375-3040
CADA's mission is to provide safety and support to victims of domestic and sexual violence through education, advocacy, and shelter.