The end of Domestic Violence Awareness Month is here. Wish that also meant the end of DV.
I’m tired from the busyness of this month. Worn down because this month more than any other I live with the past, retelling my story many times. Anyone who’s been there knows that memories churn up the old stressful, painful feelings. I really don’t mind sharing my story because it means educating others so they may become empowered and reach out for help if they are in violent relationships. Also, by speaking out listeners learn how to help friends who are living with abuse.
As I spoke to one group of professional women, I noticed many heads bobbing in understanding as I shared my story. Afterwards, several women came up to me and said, “Your story is my story.” Another attendee, stopped me to say, “Look around.” Her hand swept the air to indicate the many small groups of women engaged in conversation. “They’re all talking about what happened to them,” she said. “Sharing their own stories of domestic abuse.” I felt awed and humbled. Knowing I can make a difference in women's lives is why I continue to speak out.
If DV is going to end, it will be because we:
- Tell our stories.
- Teach our children, friends and community about DV.
- Reach out to one another if we think DV is a part of her life.
- Demand that we be treated with respect.
- Raise our sons and daughters with men who treat women with respect.
- Vote/Elect more women to higher offices in this country.
- Demand change.
We can’t wait for someone to make these changes for us, we have to go out and make it happen.
Below are links to only a few of the organizations where you can make a difference. I recommend you check out these and others you find on the internet or from talking with friends. You’ll want to read the mission statement, know who is funding the organization, and how that money is spent. Then get involved by giving your time, vote, or financial support to one or more whose beliefs and goals are compatible with your own.
http://www.ncdbw.org/ (National Clearinghouse for Defense of Battered Women)
Don’t let the end of Domestic Violence Awareness Month mean you stop thinking about it. Violence against women is here to stay as long as we do nothing to change it.