New Group Helps Support Domestic Violence Victims

MOUNDSVILLE – Victims of abuse in Marshall County will find a new place for support as the Wheeling YWCA expands its services in an area that continues to combat the prevalence of domestic violence.

The YWCA has revived its Marshall County adult domestic violence support group for female survivors to give women a safe place to discuss the often confusing healing process of surviving abuse with their peers. Ashley Taylor, a victim advocate who will head the support group, said she has recently seen a great need to bring this service to the county.

“I’ve had a lot of people asking for a support group,” Taylor said. “I felt strongly about bringing it back to this area, because I was starting to see a lot of people wanting to get involved.”

According to Patricia Flanigan, program director for YWCA’s Family Violence Prevention Program, talking to a group of women who have been in similar situations can help speed the healing process for a victim by helping her to identify unhealthy patterns.

“Just knowing that you are not alone is helpful,” Flanigan said. “A lot of people don’t understand the dynamics that come with domestic violence. There are a lot of very confusing emotions that are involved with it. Great friendships have been formed through supportive services, which is a benefit.”

Flanigan said support groups can help women identify the red flags of both physically and emotionally abusive relationships and to help victims understand it takes time to heal from those experiences.

“Having support is so important,” Taylor said. “You need to have it to get through.”

The group is held at 10 a.m. every Monday at the Messiah Evangelical Lutheran Church at 503 Lafayette Ave. Women interested in attending can contact Ashley Taylor at 304-845-9150.

YWCA also provides services including an emergency safe shelter, community outreach and providing supportive services such as crisis intervention, safety planning, assistance filing emergency protective orders and assisting in criminal and family court processes.