WomenSV’s Ruth Darlene Patrick On Why Support Groups are Important for Domestic Violence Survivors

ATLANTA, GA / ACCESSWIRE / May 12, 2023 / The topic of domestic violence is an immensely critical issue that has a far-reaching impact on countless individuals throughout the United States. On average, there are 20,000 calls placed to domestic violence hotlines daily. Survivors of domestic violence are frequently subjected to a broad spectrum of physical, emotional, and psychological trauma, which can be exceedingly difficult to overcome. Nonetheless, there exists a viable means for survivors to overcome these challenges and progress with their lives, which is through participating in support groups.

Support groups are an absolutely indispensable resource for many domestic violence survivors, owing to the fact that they furnish a secure and protected haven in which survivors can connect with other individuals who have undergone similar trauma. Ruth Darlene, formerly Ruth Patrick, Executive Director and Founder of WomenSV, a nonprofit focused on supporting victims of domestic and covert abuse, shared three reasons why survivors of domestic violence should seriously consider joining a support group as part of their path to healing and empowerment.

Connection and Support

When survivors of domestic violence sever their ties with abusive relationships, they are frequently plagued with feelings of seclusion and desolation. Support groups provide a sense of community and fellowship with other individuals who have undergone similar experiences. Ruth Darlene, the Executive Director of WomenSV, emphasizes that "support groups provide a safe place for women to share their stories, feel validated, and receive support and encouragement from other people who have been in similar situations."

Forming a connection with other people who have undergone comparable experiences can help survivors feel less isolated and more understood. This connection with other domestic violence survivors can also assist them in realizing that they are not to blame for the abuse they endured, and that they are not alone in their journey towards healing.

Validation and Empowerment

Survivors of domestic violence often struggle with feelings of shame, guilt, and self-blame. Support groups offer a space where survivors can feel validated and empowered. As Ruth Darlene expounds, "Survivors can feel like they are crazy or that what they experienced wasn't that bad. Support groups provide validation that what they went through was abusive and most importantly, not their fault."

These groups can also empower survivors to take control of their lives and make positive changes. Ruth Darlene says, "Support groups can help survivors rebuild their self-esteem and confidence, set boundaries, and make decisions that are right for them. By offering understanding, kindness, and support to others in the group, survivors can learn how to extend the same care and compassion to themselves."

Education and Resources

Support groups can also educate survivors about strategies and resources to help with safety planning during and after an abusive relationship, as well as coping skills to aid the healing journey in the aftermath of abuse. Ruth Darlene affirms, "At WomenSV, our group sessions provide survivors with information about domestic violence, legal resources, counseling, and other services that can help them heal and move forward." Additionally, by learning about the cycle of abuse, survivors can recognize the warning signs of abusive behavior and seek help quickly.

Support groups are often an essential lifeline for domestic violence survivors -- providing a safe space for healing, validation, and connection.

"If you or someone you know is a survivor or victim of domestic violence, consider reaching out to WomenSV or other support groups in your area. Remember, healing is possible, and you do not have to go through it alone," Ruth Darlene says.

About WomenSV: WomenSV is a non-profit organization that works to empower survivors, train providers and educate the community to break the cycle of covert abuse and coercive control in intimate partner relationships. This organization operates with the mission of creating a world in which every woman and child can exercise their fundamental human right to live in peace, safety, and freedom in their own home.


Andrew Mitchell


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