Valentine's Day is fast approaching and the many floral, candy and gift shops are getting ready for this romantic day of the year. For a lot of people who are fortunate to have that special someone in their life, this can be a very special romantic day together. For others, it is anything but romantic!
1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will be victims of domestic violence in her or his lifetime. While some are enjoying the candy hearts, flowers, and candlelit dinners, others have painful memories of past relationships or living each day in fear, walking on eggshells with their current abusive partner.
Whatever you may be feeling this year on Valentine's Day, I suggest you take the opportunity to remind yourself that you are special and you deserve to be loved, not just by a significant other, but loved by YOU. This is a perfect time to begin anew, and start taking care of yourself. Do something special for yourself. Make your favorite meal or splurge and go out to your favorite restaurant. Go to a movie. Read a good book, take a bubble bath, schedule an appointment for that much needed and so deserved massage. Put yourself first for a change!!! Remember, it is NOT selfish to put yourself first instead of taking care of everyone else and neglecting your own needs!!!
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, loving yourself and taking care of yourself may include seeking out information about and attending a domestic violence support group or finding a special advocate to talk to one-on-one about your situation. Take care of yourself in the same way you would tell your best friend or someone you love to take care of themselves. Dove has a 24-hour hotline. Call and talk to someone who will listen non-judgmentally. Call 217.423. 2238. Plan to attend one of our support groups on Tuesdays from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m., or Wednesdays from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Teri Ducy, Director
Dove Domestic Violence Program