Abuse shelter says it has seen uptick in need for women’s mental health services

Reporter: Gina Tomlinson Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
A woman, who is a survivor of domestic abuse, speaks to WINK News about her traumatic experience during an interview in April 2021. Her name and face are not shared for her protection. Credit: WINK News.

Conditions caused by the pandemic have created an uptick in significant need of mental health services for women.

The Shelter for Abused Women & Children in Collier County says it’s seen women in need of outreach and clinical services.

“We have seen a huge increase for the need for counseling and therapy services,” CEO Linda Oberhaus said.

A lot of women are anxious about job loss, and some court cases were delayed, causing more hopelessness as women have waited for outcomes.

We spoke to a survivor of domestic violence about her traumatic experiences. We protected her name and did not share her face on camera for the interview.

“I was telling myself, ‘Wake up; you have to go check on your babies,’” the survivor said. “It was just turmoil.”

The survivor was shot multiple times during a home invasion.

“My breast in and out, the back of my head, my ear,” she explained. “There’s nobody but God that spared me.”

Through it all, this domestic violence survivor is alive to tell her story.

“That feeling that I couldn’t get up to get to my babies because I’m down,” she said. “What are you going to do? Are you going to take my babies and run?”

The survivor says many emotions from that night and her past still haunt her, but the mental health services offered here at shelter are helping her and her children heal as they start a new life.

“The ability for space, therapy, definitely for me,” She said.

Oberhaus said the pandemic created more tension at home for victims already struggling with mental health.

“It’s not uncommon for victims of domestic violence to be struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety related to the trauma that’s occurred in their life,” Oberhaus said.

But some who survived their past have faith now on the journey to recovery.

“I feel safe. I can breathe,” the survivor told WINK News.

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