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Care-Taking IS Enabling

Fact. Care-Taking IS Enabling. You as an Advocate have a very large heart in order to do this kind of work. You have a natural desire to help and you have compassion for days. Do not let this become your downfall as an Advocate.

Some Survivors have a tendency to exploit the softer side of people. This may stem from a multitude of factors, some being entitlement, lack of drive, and a “get what I can” attitude. This is a Hustle and you are the one being hustled. Do not let your kindness be your weakness.

You may have the natural desire to serve. If you find yourself catering to survivors, or playing “House Mom”- you are not helping as much as you think you are. You are in fact enabling past behavior and hindering the growth process. Instead of doing for them, stand back and teach them. This could be as simple as showing a girl how the washing machine works instead of doing her laundry for her or standing back and imploring a survivor to use her mind to think through a difficult problem to find a favorable solution.

Take into consideration that we are used to using our bodies towards a means and not our minds. We have no critical thinking skills to draw from. We have a juvenile mind and are accustomed to playing those levels of games in order to get what is necessary. Encourage learning and independence. Teach them responsibly. Let mistakes become educational experiences. Allow them to try AND to fail.

These ladies are not porcelain dolls so fragile that they can’t afford to learn real life lessons. These are hardened women who have truly lived through some rough stuff. Do not be afraid to say no and instead say: “I don’t know, let’s figure this out together.” Push them to make their own decisions. Have realistic rules in place. Teach them soft consequences in a safe environment. Get them ready for the world at large instead of ensconcing them in an insulated environment.


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