Tough love is not always OK

Monday, October 4, 2004

Tough love may be OK in some situations, but it's not the the right way to help a battered woman. Those words of advice come from Donna Goad, the executive director of Domestic Abuse/Sexual Assault Services for the McCook area.

Speaking out at the start of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Goad says, "A battered woman has been so hurt and emotionally beaten down by her abuser, the last thing she needs is someone else treating her the same way. An abuser strips all the power away from his victim, leaving her utterly helpless and in despair."

What a battered woman really needs is empowerment. "She needs someone to explain her options to her in a non-judgmental way ... then allow her to make her own decisions."

The executive director goes on to say: "It has been shown over and over that a key factor in an abused woman leaving her partner is having a solid support system in place." If you know a woman who is being abused, give her love and encouragement. Your support could help lead her to a safe life and place her on the road to recovery after being hurt and emotionally beaten down by her abuser.

If you are being battered, or know someone who is, call the Domestic Abuse/Sexual Assault Crisis Line at (308) 345-5534. Battered women can also get help by calling the crisis line toll-free at (800) 876-6238.

Memory Walk-- Another help line number which needs to be advertised is that for Alzheimer's, a disease of the brain that causes a steady decline in memory. The Alzheimer's Helpline is (800) 487-2585.

The Alzheimer's Association of the Great Plains called attention to the help line Sunday during the third annual Memory Walk at Norris Park in McCook. Alzheimer's is a serious problem which grows in scope with the advance in the average life span. It is now estimated four million Americans have Alzheimer's disease, and that number could reach 14 million by 2050 if a cure is not found.

While the search for a cure goes on, we need to be mindful of the plight of the Alzheimer's sufferers, and the physically and emotionally exhausting job of those who care for them.

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