We hear so many heartwarming stories about family experiences during this stay-at-home time: parents having more time to spend with children; families reaching out together to help others in need; families finding that cooking, playing games, creative crafting and movie watching is bringing them closer together.
But there are other stories as well…stories of dysfunction, tension and even violence…ABUSE. And when abuse rears its ugly head, safety is not always possible. For some, there are family members or even agencies that can help.
For immigrants, however, the situation may be more tenuous. There is often a lack of resources and support; fear of financial insecurity or inability to find a job as a single parent; limited childcare options. Sometimes it’s a matter of difficulty because of language, and trust and ability to reach out.
Often, it’s a concern because of immigration/citizenship status…fear of hurting their progress in their status seeking, or worse, fear of detention or deportation.
In this unstable time, all of us need to keep our eyes, our minds and our hearts open to the needs of our families, yes, but also to the situations of the most vulnerable around us. If we are safe and secure, how can we reach out to others without overstepping privacy boundaries? Can we offer a listening ear, information about services available, trusting concern, encouragement? Knowing that “someone out there” cares, knowing there is someone who will listen and not judge may be the one support needed to help someone through a very frightening, insecure situation amidst all the chaos going on in the world at this time.
Safe houses and shelters are still functioning in these days but at limited capacity. Sometimes a hotel room is offered as a temporary shelter. It’s good to find out what is available in your area, to be able to offer a glimmer of hope to someone………or for your own information.