The Purple Door: Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus

Published 4:13 pm Friday, December 15, 2017

Editor’s Note: The Bulletin welcomes a new twice-monthly column to our pages called The Purple Door, and it couldn’t be timelier. With sexual abuse and harassment forefront in the news, it is important to realize the many forms that abuse can manifest in our interpersonal and inter-family relationships, shed light on them, and offer hope and guidance to those seeking a way out.

The peace of knowing that she and her children were safe was a gift during this Christmas season. But as the holiday season began, it looked like that might be Brenda’s (not her real name) only gift. After all, having to break away from her abuser had been very costly and there was nothing left for Christmas.

Domestic abuse does not take a holiday during the Christmas season; in fact, it can be argued that it increases due to the financial and emotional stress of the holidays. Domestic abuse happens to people of all ages, races, ethnicities, socio-economic statuses and religions. The person in front of you at the check-out counter or sitting next to you in church may be a victim or an abuser. Domestic abuse takes many forms: economic, emotional, physical, sexual and psychological, to name a few. Victims many times do not know who to turn to for help and that helpless feeling only adds to their stress and to the stress of any children.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

We as a community have a wonderful organization, Steps to HOPE, in Columbus, N.C., which is a domestic abuse agency and shelter. The agency not only provides a safe place for the abused to go but also provides services that help people from all sides of a family violence situation get back on their feet. 

Some examples are: Court Advocacy, Batterer Intervention Program, Legal Aid through the Pisgah Legal Services, referrals to medical and mental health professionals, After School Programs and many other services and activities.

Steps to HOPE has an “Adopt a Family” program during the Christmas season. Steps to HOPE provides a wish list that includes clothing sizes, children’s toys, parents’ needs, etc. One can “adopt” a child, children or a whole family and provide the items on the wish list. (See article on page 11 as an example.)

Brenda can’t believe that Christmas is really going to happen for her and her children after what had been a traumatic and difficult year for them. The Steps to HOPE staff loves watching the children and families come in and pick up their presents….

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

If you would like to support Steps to HOPE and its many important programs, call 828-894-2340 or visit and click on the Donate Now button. Kent Holden is the president of the Steps to HOPE Board of Directors.