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Kim Watson is the new Court Advocate

Kim Watson’s goal in life has been to help others. She is a life -long resident of Buffalo Cove in Caldwell County. She earned an associate degree in human

services at Wilkes Community College. As part of her college education she worked two semesters at the Shelter Home of Caldwell County. She worked in many areas, but her main love was helping the court advocate, Jan Smith. When Jan went on maternity leave in July, Kim was hired as a temporary replacement. When Jan decided to work part time so she could be home with her new baby, Kim was hired full time. Although Kim had a good background, she continues to take training via the Web and plans to attend some seminars. She is working hard at developing relationships with local judges and lawyers. As court advocate she is able to present options to clients—both residents of the Shelter Home and non-residents. She also accompanies them to court which helps relieve their fears. Most peo-

ple are anxious going to court for a speeding ticket but to have to face someone who has abused or threatened you can be terrifying. The final decision of what to do is ultimately left up the victim. Kim finds one of the hardest things about her job is seeing victims ask for a dismissal of a restraining order—many times done repeatedly by the same victim. Reasons for this may be that they think the abuser will change as he/she has often promised before. Also, the abuser may be the father of their children and she thinks that the children need him. Sometimes there is fear of the abuser carrying out his threats to harm her or have the children taken away. When she was asked about any hobbies, she replied that as a single mom she had little free time. She is mother to a teenager and another child who is a college student. She does enjoy walking and bike riding and is active in her church, especially with the youth group. Kim wants to make a difference for good in the lives of the people with whom she works and realizes this takes time, patience, and love.

Dealing with Depression, Stress and Domestic Violence during the Holiday Season. Season The holiday season for many is a time filled with happiness and joy. Many people spend the season with family and friends. The smiling faces of children when they see Santa andthe beautiful nativity scenes can cause joy and happiness in people. Unfortunately , not everyone experiences happiness during the holiday season. Some folks suffer from the holiday blues, becoming a victim to stress and depression. Stress can take over one’s life during the holiday season, especially when trying to find that perfect gift for a loved one. Fighting between mothers and fathers over money and gifts leads to more stress. Financial stress is a big cause of depression and flaring tempers in many cases. Depression is not uncommon during the holidays. Some people are unable to be with family and friends and depression may be a natural response. Sadly, Thanksgiving and Christmas are prime times for abusers to exert control over their victims.

The abuser knowing the victim wants to be with family and friends may use this to have more control which causes even more stress. Excessive alcohol consumption over the holidays unfortunately adds to an unhealthy mix when stress is high, and self-control is lessened. Communication has to be a high priority for everyone. Talking about your feelings in a calm manner is the most important thing to remember. If you feel the situation is headed in the wrong direction, try to remove yourself from the other person, so each person can cool down. Then, come back together after things are calm. If you do find yourself in a abusive relationship, it is critical that you get immediate help. Go to a relatives or friends house. Using the seasonal stress to excuse a beating or verbal assault is not right. Abuse is abuse no matter what time of year it happens. Some women will defend and make excuses for their abuser such as “ The holidays are hard for him” or “He or She didn’t really mean it.” We all have the right to live without violence and

abuse—especially from those we love or who say they love us. There are many resources available in our community that will offer help especially during the holidays. Churches , shelters and local police are available to help. Should you need us please call 7580888. May the Holidays bring you PEACE , Happiness and Goodwill !! Lisa Triplett, Domestic Violence Program Manager

December Newsletter  
December Newsletter  

In this issue we discus the new partnership with DVRC , the Domestic Violence Resource Center of Alexander County. Along with Staff introduc...