submitted by Pee Dee Coalition
Pee Dee Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Assault is a non-profit volunteer organization dedicated to the reduction of sexual assault, family violence, and child abuse and to the needs of its victims. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Child Abuse Prevention Month. This April and all year long, Pee Dee Coalition is dedicated to helping the region become a safer, more compassionate community.
Emily Ross, LPC, CACI, Florence County Trauma Counselor for Pee Dee Coalition, has seen a lot of survivors of abuse and sexual assault in her almost 10 years as a counselor. She has seen some amazing transformations in women. Ross says that if you are a victim of abuse or assault, just remember “you are the expert of your own life.” No one can tell you how to heal, but if you are searching for a place to start with your journey to healing, please see the below tips and ideas to a better tomorrow.
• Give yourself a break. You need time to heal. It is okay not to be okay; to feel angry, sad, upset, numb, or scared, that’s normal.
• Self-care is important at this time. You will need to learn to love yourself again, and that won’t happen overnight. Challenge the negative thoughts in your head.
• Empower yourself to make decisions on your own. It’s certainly okay to ask for support and opinions of others, but only you can take charge of your own life.
• Seeking counseling and therapy is a sign of strength. Asking for help is a step in the healing process.
• Be open to surrounding yourself with other survivors in safe settings, like a support group. It certainly doesn’t have to be right away, but being a part of a group will show you that you are not alone. Even if you decide not to share, it can be empowering or comforting to hear other’s stories.
All of the services, including trauma counseling services, that Pee Dee Coalition offers are completely free of charge. Ross works with the clients of Pee Dee Coalition because she wants to “help survivors find their true self and no longer live in fear.”
If you or someone you know is healing from abuse or assault, please contact Pee Dee Coalition at 843-664-4694 or the 24-hour crisis line at 800-273-1820. There is help. Pee Dee Coalition covers Florence, Darlington, Sumter, Marion, Dillon, Chesterfield, Marlboro, and Williamsburg Counties. Pee Dee Coalition is a member of the United Way.