Advent can bring hope to victims of domestic violence

It was pointed out to me that today is the first Sunday in Advent. This begins the Christian season of preparation before the birthday of the Christ child. It is a time of new beginnings and of hope. Possibly no group of people need hope more than victims of domestic violence.

The cycle of violence holds victims in darkness. Today, the first candles of Advent are being lighted across the globe. These tiny flickers are said to be lights of good in a dark world.

The flicker of hope is that keeps many victims of domestic violence going every day. We perpetually hold hope in our hearts that the abuse will end. Each day that dawns brings another opportunity for the violence to stop. Some say that victims of domestic violence live in fear.

At least some of the people that I have spoken with have dared to say otherwise. At least one person told me that she lives in hope that her situation will turn around and was actively working on making that happen. Others have echoed different versions of a similar belief.

It seems appropriate that she came to mind today as the Advent candle was lighted. The church softly glowed with the light of the tiny flickering candle. It is a reminder that even the tiniest flicker can hold meaning for many. For victims of domestic violence the light is a reminder that we have hope for a better world. Not only can we do this but we must. We have the right to hope. Abusers can take away a lot but this is one thing that cannot be taken away.

If you are in danger the people at the National Domestic Violence Hotline can help you. Visit www.ndvh.org or call 1.800.799.SAFE to create a safety plan and learn more about ending the cycle of abuse.