Insights from the Hotline Room: Planning for Holiday Gatherings

As the year winds down, folks across the country are headed home for the holidays to spend time with family and friends. While this is a time of celebration for many, it also presents challenges for some survivors of sexual abuse.

Family and friends gather for a holiday meal, respecting each other's boundaries.

More often than not, the perpetrator of sexual violence is someone the victim knows. This is especially true for those who experience sexual abuse as a child: 93 percent of children know the perpetrator, and 34 percent are abused by a family member. For these survivors, holiday gatherings can mean facing painful memories, feelings of anxiety, or a chance of repeated harm.

During the holiday season, RAINN support specialists for the National Sexual Assault Hotline anticipate helping survivors who are going through a tough time at home or during family gatherings. Here, they share some strategies to help survivors feel safe.

  1. Identify alternative housing plans. Survivors who have flexible schedules during…

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