Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I believe: 'love' and 'safety' and 'home' should all be synonyms

Did you realize how many causes are recognized in October? Let's look at another one tonight.

As declared by an Act of Congress, October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Do you know a victim of domestic violence? You probably do. Look at these upsetting statistics: 1 in 4 women is or has been a victim of domestic violence. Over a million women a year are victims of stalking. Three women are murdered every day by their intimate partners. 34% of women are vicims of sexual coercion within their lifetimes.

I remember the night my college roommate's boyfriend slapped her. Hard. I remember the stories my fifteen-year-old friend told my fourteen-year-old self about her year of homelessness, the year she ran away. To escape what was happening in her home. I see an adult today whose primary childhood theme is an abusive and then abandoning parent.

I'd like to say I don't think I know anybody who is suffering from domestic violence right now but the statistics suggest otherwise. I'd like to think that nobody I know needs my help but possibly that isn't true. Here is what I can do: I can publish this hotline number for requesting and accessing help.


I can provide this link of ways we can all be prepared to help someone we know who is suffering: How We Can Help.

I can promise anyone I know that if you say to me that you need help, I will do what I can.

I can send you to read the dozens of brave stories of survivors at Violence Unsilenced, who dilute the shame of victimization by writing so candidly about it. (Warning: the stories posted there are triumphant, but also heartbreaking.)

I can model healthy relationships and raise my daughters and son as best I can so that by the time of their adulthood, we can go back to just thinking about October in relation to babywearing. Isn't that a hopeful thought?

But until then, let's talk out loud about domestic violence until it doesn't need to be talked about anymore. Pin It