There is no reason that another adult needs to be abused or even murdered at the hands of someone in their intimate circle. This article is to encourage ANYONE out there who has a loved one, neighbor, co-worker, etc. who you feel may be in an abusive/dangerous relationship – YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE CERTAIN, just check it out. Make the call to our 24/7 helpline and anonymously ask questions and talk to someone. Our advocates will also help you to understand how to approach the person you are concerned about appropriately and what information to give them.
If you are in a relationship that may be causing you concern, pain, confusion or if you have already been physically abused – MAKE THE CALL – CHECK IT OUT!
You do not have to give your name or any identifying information. And know without a doubt…YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY NOT ALONE.
Words from a caller: “I didn’t tell my sister what I really thought of her boyfriend because I didn’t want her to be mad at me. But when he got drunk and insisted that my sister better get in the car – that he was driving or she could just walk, I had to talk to someone. At 11pm on a Saturday night, I called Stepping Stones helpline and actually got a live person on the other end. After spewing out how mad I was and all my concerns, I remember the advocate telling me that it was not my imagination and gave me very specific actions to take. I told my sister exactly what the advocate told me, and my sister said to me exactly what the advocate said she might. But, my sister called Stepping Stones and even though she didn’t need shelter, she went to their support groups. She got the strength to get away from the boyfriend. The call I made, very well may have saved her life.”
Our advocates are committed to experience each call with freshness and see each caller as they are, where they are and not who we want them to be or do. To be able to hear through the hostility, fear, anxiety, or even humor – and really hear the pain and suffering the person on the line is experiencing; to stay clear on our purpose. Our job is not to fix people, but to be with them and help them to become empowered enough to take action; to give honest and direct feedback in order to best meet the needs of the caller; to feel honored for the opportunity to serve people who are looking for relief for themselves or their loved ones from the tragedy of intimate violence in all forms.
What we hope for anyone who calls us is that they hear non-judgmental, unconditional acceptance and rigorous honesty that will, at just the right moment in time, help them to experience their “moment of clarity”, take action and make decisions that will help them and their children live free from all forms of future victimization. We hope they find serenity, safety and strength in the voice at the other end of the line. When they hang up they feel heard, treated with respect and dignity and knowing the grace of new found fellowship.
YOU ARE DEFINITELY NOT ALONE. JUST PICK UP THE PHONE and we will be there – 24/7/365.
Robin C. Burke
CEO of Stepping Stones Agencies