Happy Mother's Day!
Updated: Jun 5, 2019
This May, many families will mark Mother’s Day by celebrating the joys of being a mother, the gratitude we feel for our own mothers and the appreciation we have for the mothers of our children. At Sojourner, we know being a mother who is a survivor of domestic violence can bring unique challenges. That’s why we work hard to design programs which take into account the specific needs of mothers and their children. In 2018, we served approximately 700 mothers through our shelter and community programs. Some of the supports we offer include:
Relationships with advocates: Advocates at the shelter can help mom regain confidence in her parenting skills and reinforce her authority as the parent. They may serve as a bridge for mothers and kids who are struggling to communicate with one another and encourage open sharing from older youth in particular. Advocates provide safety planning for both mothers and their children. This safety planning could include things like: getting to and from school safely, online safety skills, knowing who to share (or not share) personal information with and knowing when to call 911. Other examples of supports the family may need are helping to enroll children in a local school or coordinate their transportation to their original school and making referrals for therapy if a child is struggling with their mental health.
Support groups and parenting education: Support group provides an opportunity for mothers to support other moms who have similar experiences and challenges. Moms can brainstorm ways to connect with their children, manage difficult behaviors while in transition, discuss safety in an age appropriate manner and find balance while being a single parent. Sojourner also brings in family educators with decades of experience to Life Skills group, to help moms build their “parenting tool-kits”.
Legal advocacy: Children need a safe, supportive home in order for them to thrive. At Sojourner, we know that our work increasing safety for adult clients in shelter and the community also indirectly benefits the children of our clients. Whether we are helping a mom through a difficult custody battle, filing an order of protection or speaking with a prosecutor to share relevant background in a criminal case, supporting safety for moms also supports the safety of their children.
Special support for pregnant mothers: At Sojourner we also work with mothers who are pregnant, possibly for the first time. Advocates help to prepare mothers for child birth by providing basic needs (supplements, formula, blankets, baby clothes, bottles), emotional support, access to medical care and safety planning for the hospital.
Motherhood can be both incredibly rewarding and challenging, even without the added stress of being in an abusive relationships. Sojourner's work supports family resilience and well-being of both mothers and children. Ultimately, our goal is to walk alongside mothers as they move towards greater safety and better lives.
To learn more about our programs and services visit: