Companion Animals: Can pets help improve your mental and physical health?

companion animals

When I get home from a long stressful day at work I am greeted at the door by two cats who are extremely happy to see me. When I have an anxiety attack my cat is purring by my side, licking my hand until I calm down. It’s no secret that our pets make us happy even on our worst days but researchers have concluded that companion animals are in fact good for our health. This is why we see animals on college campuses during finals, in hospitals and even in prisons. Research shows that the presence of a companion animal has health benefits including improvements in mental, social, and physiologic health. In regards to mental health, owning a cat or dog brings routine based on their care needs which can often help people with … Read More

Moving on From an Abusive Relationship

moving on from an abusive relationship

After leaving an abusive relationship you would imagine the hard part is behind you. No more trauma. No more threats. No more fear. In reality, moving on from an abusive relationship is an uphill battle. The emotional scars of an abusive relationship can stay with you long after you leave the relationship. It is important to remember that you are entirely capable of moving on. You will be able to love and trust again, even if it takes you a while to get to there. With time, effort, support and patience you will be able to move on and break the cycle of abuse in your life. Below are tips to help you move on from your abusive relationship. Remind Yourself Why You Left Journaling about your abuse can help you remember the reasons that … Read More

Home for the Holidays: Dating Violence Warning Signs

Home for the Holidays: Dating Violence Warning Signs

If you’re a parent with kids in their teens or early twenties, the winter holidays may be not only a time to celebrate with family, but also a chance to meet your child’s new significant other. Having kids enter into serious relationships for the first time can be challenging for any parent, and of course, you want your kids to have healthy and happy relationships. Every relationship is different, and a partner who exhibits occasional bad behavior may not be abusive, but many teens and young people may blame themselves for abuse or may have a hard time spotting it. If you’re concerned about your child’s relationship, ask yourself if you’ve seen any of these warning signs of dating violence. Does your child’s significant other: Check your child’s phone, email or social media often and/or … Read More

Domestic Violence: Busting the Myths

Domestic Violence: Busting the Myths For whatever reason, many of us have preconceived notions about what domestic violence looks like, who perpetrates it, and who it happens to. In order to understand domestic violence and work to prevent it, we have to recognize it in all its forms. Here are a few of the more common misconceptions surrounding domestic violence, and the truths which they conceal. “Transgender people don’t experience intimate partner violence.” This one is pretty common. Very often, victims of domestic violence are assumed to be heterosexual cisnormative women.[1] The reality is that while up to 33% of the general population experience intimate partner violence, a massive 50% of transgender people are subject to it in their lifetime.[2] In 2012, a report by the NCAPV found that 47.6% of all homicides resulting from intimate … Read More

Say Something: Barriers to Bystander Intervention

Let’s begin by defining what bystander intervention means. Basically, it’s the point at which someone intrudes on a possibly unsafe circumstance. This includes interrupting activities or remarks that advance violence. Bystander intervention is the difference between contributing to the cycle of violence by remaining silent and participating as an agent of change to stop the violence for someone else. We call this being an active bystander. The good news is, it’s never too late to become an active bystander! So why aren’t more of us stepping up to help?   There are four types of barriers to bystander intervention: Individual, Relationship, Community, and Societal. While none excuse silence, they all outline reasons why people turn a blind eye. But you didn’t come here for psychological analysis or research. You’re here to learn how you can … Read More

Ten Best Ways to Help a Survivor of Domestic Violence

Your sister, brother, best friend, or another special person in your life has shared they are in an abusive relationship and come to you for help. Now what? Learning your loved one is a survivor of domestic violence is a terrifying reality. For those with limited knowledge who may be feeling helpless, we’ve compiled a list of ways to ensure you’re helping your survivor do what’s best.   Believe the survivor. This is number one for a reason. A prevalent concern felt by survivors is fear of not being supported when they seek help. Knowing they have someone in their corner who believes them helps solidify their decision to get out. Stay calm. Easier said than done, as you are likely experiencing many strong emotions at once. Revealing those emotions will impact the conversation and … Read More