"Eight Holiday Tips from a Domestic Violence Survivor" by Award-winning Author, Tom North, Posted on NOMORE.org

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The holidays can be a particularly stressful time for adult survivors of domestic violence and child abuse, especially those with children. But the holidays can be a perfect time to help heal the past and create new loving memories to support the health and wellbeing of the family.

Grandparents and other relatives play a key role in a child’s life. They provide a net of support that can help children weather the storms of life as they grow.

Award-winning author, Tom North’s blog, "Eight Holiday Tips From A Domestic Violence Survivor" is posted on NOMORE.org. NO MORE is a public awareness and engagement campaign focused on ending domestic violence and sexual assault. North, who appears on radio and television programs and is featured in articles and blogs, shares information about why it is important that children develop a healthy "family narrative”.

According to research published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, having a close circle of relatives is crucial for the psychological wellbeing of children. Children need to feel that they are connected to others and they are not alone. Studies show that children who know more about their family connections prove to be more resilient, meaning they can better moderate the effects of stress. They know they belong to something bigger than themselves. As chapters are added to their family’s life, they grow in strength as they share their “family narrative” through experiences and stories.

North knows first-hand about how growing up in a violent household can effect a child's health and wellbeing. He is one of the children in the famous Beardsley family that was featured in the movie, “Yours, Mine and Ours” starring Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda. But the Beardsley’s were anything from blissful; in fact, according to North, the stepfather’s abuse created an environment of fear and terror for the family, even over the holidays. North wrote about the double life in his memoir, True North – The Shocking Truth about “Yours, Mine and Ours.”

“When my dad, Dick North, died, and my mother–who had 8 children–remarried Frank Beardsley, who had 10 (we were famous globally for the size of our combined family), we North children were virtually cut off from our father’s extended family," explains North. "I was 6 years old. Connections with our North grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, were forbidden by Frank Beardsley, (he was insanely jealous of anyone ‘North’) a very abusive and controlling man. I didn’t even know any of my North cousins until I was a grown man.” Grandparents and other relatives play a key role in a child’s life. They provide a net of support that can help children weather the storms of life as they grow.

The holidays can be a particularly stressful time for adult survivors of domestic violence and child abuse, especially those with children. Everything’s supposed to be happy and rosy, with plenty of family and togetherness, but the holiday pressures coupled with alcohol abuse can lead to very stressful situations, including domestic violence and child abuse.

North continues, “Even though I learned how to create a positive and healthy environment for my family, the holidays are still hard for me and for so many others like me. The happiest time of the year just isn’t. But I don’t have to repeat the cycle. Instead, I can try to create a sense of family for my own children—something I never knew.”

Tom North’s "Eight Holiday Tips From A Domestic Violence Survivor" can be found on NOMORE.org.

Tom North is an Official Sponsor of National CASA for Children. To learn more about Tom North, visit http://www.TrueNorthbyTomNorth.com

NO MORE is a public awareness and engagement campaign focused on ending domestic violence and sexual assault. NO MORE is aligned with hundreds of organizations working at the local, state and national levels on prevention, advocacy, and services for survivors.

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