“Domestic violence has no impact on my life. This issue only affects people in low-income areas, and not my neighbors, family, co-workers or friends.” Nothing could be further from the truth.
“There must be a simple solution. Just leave the abuser: case closed.” Like most things in life, it’s not that simple.
Society continues to blame victims of domestic violence. We don’t blame people when their car is stolen, unless they left the keys in it. But we continue to blame victims of domestic violence because we think it’s so simple to just leave.
Over the last few years, I’ve had the opportunity to attend several workshops and learn more about domestic violence. Domestic violence victims blame themselves for the abuse, I found this fact most disturbing. Again, makes no sense. We all saw the Ray Rice video, how do you blame her for getting knocked out? Yet we do. Looking more into the issue, I began to understand how abusers control their victims over time and lower their self-esteem and confidence.
We started a new tutoring program at Safe Alliance. This agency manages a comprehensive shelter for survivors of domestic violence and their children. We started our tutoring project last week. The project looks exactly the same thing as any other tutoring project except for the setting. The children are eager to learn and appreciate the attention.
I don’t have the answers to solve all the community’s issues but I know it’s not ignoring them or waiting for someone else to help. Even if we don’t improve any children’s grades at the shelter, at least we’ll help model positive adult behavior and show them that we care.
For more information about various events check out: Domestic Violence Awareness Month Calendar of Events.
A great resource to help men understand the issue: A Call to Men.
- by Doug Macomb, Director of Programs, volunteer for Tutoring at Safe Alliance