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Give & Take: Inspired by MAID, ways to support victims of domestic violence

Hallie Erlich  Follow

One of Netflix’s latest limited series, MAID, is a powerful 10-episode drama which dives into the realities of a young mother fleeing an abusive relationship with her young child. The viewer watches as she navigates complex government assistance programs, battles poverty and homelessness, all to provide a better life for her and her daughter.

As I watched the series, which I finished in about two days, I felt invested in the mother’s journey, rooting for her through every episode and twist of events. I was also able to learn more about domestic violence (DV) shelters and the traumatizing impact of domestic abuse. I’ve never been so captivated by a show, but at the same time understanding that this is an unfortunate reality that many people will face in their lifetime. With many turning to DV shelters for support and safety, sometimes even in the middle of the night, survivors often flee without any personal belongings and are often in need of basic items, all of which shelters help provide for them.

There are many ways to provide support to survivors of domestic violence and their families, including through monetary donations, your time volunteering or donating items directly to shelters. Below are a few ideas:

  • Organizations such as Safe Horizon, the nation’s leading victim assistance organization which operates a network of programs across NYC communities, working with survivors of all forms of violence, including racism, to move from crisis to confidence. Opportunities to get involved include:
    • fundraising for survivors of violence and abuse by joining Safe Horizon’s grassroots fundraising program Team Horizon, or providing a one-time donation to go towards services including legal services for survivors in danger, feeding a family in a domestic violence shelter and medicals examination for abused children at a Child Advocacy Center.
    • exploring volunteer opportunities with Safe Horizon at sites located throughout the five boroughs of NYC.
  • Many domestic violence survivors flee without any personal items and are often in need of basic items, which many shelters help provide for them. You can check out domesticshelters.org which is a searchable directory of domestic violence programs and shelters across the U.S. and Canada. You can enter your zip code and browse the wish lists of nearby organizations to find items in need that you can donate.
  • The National Network to End Domestic Violence, founded more than 30 years ago to be the leading voice for survivors of domestic violence and their allies, accepts donations to directly support their efforts to create a social, political and economic environment in which domestic violence no longer exists.
  • Many domestic violence programs rely on local volunteers to help. Whatever market you’re in, be sure to call your local programs to learn more about ways to volunteer or get involved supporting survivors and their families.

Lastly, the National Domestic Violence Hotline helps you find ways to support someone experiencing relationship abuse as well as a host of other resources.

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