Monday, November 3, 2008

October Is Not the End

Domestic Violence Month (October) has come to a close. With all the events that took place, my hope is that more people were made aware of how prevalent Domestic Violence is in America and the rest of the world. I hope that more people came to realize how truly destructive it is, ripping the family apart from its core; discarding precious hearts that only want to give love and be loved. Not only is the family affected, but society as a whole. The breakdown of family was the key to the annihilation of the mighty Roman Empire. This growing plague is encompassing the world. Let’s stop it in its tracks by lending our voices, our time, our funds, and our hearts to the cause. UNIFEM, Safe Horizon and other organizations (some of which are listed to the left) are set up to do just that. Have you ever thought about volunteering to direct distressed victims on the phone to programs that would help them? There are many things that you can do to help end the vicious tirade.

The Domestic Violence Awareness Information Tables that I was able to organize were very well received at my job on October 30th. The Location (next to the cafeteria) and the 12pm - 2pm time slot was perfect as traffic was heavy at this time. Doctors, students and employees alike took many of the brochures and pamphlets that I was able to get from the Brooklyn D.A.Charles Hynes' office and Mayor Bloomberg's office. One booklet that many doctors and med students found interesting was the "Medical Provider's Guide to Managing the Care of Domestic Violence Patients within a Cultural Context."

Even the President and Executive Vice President stopped by for a bit and expressed how happy they were for the information table because Domestic Violence is a very important cause. Many passing by expressed how timely the table was in light of the recent news events involving husbands murdering their wives. The table also became a forum to discuss these very scary headlines. Several took literature in hopes of being of some assistance in this silent epidemic. A resident police officer wants to assist in increasing the volume of the event next year by joining forces. Of course I agreed, but Domestic Violence Awareness doesn’t have to be confined to October. It has to be tackled head on at all times. Domestic Violence Workshops are taking place this month at my place of employment. So far, a good number of people have signed up to attend.

I was also asked to be interviewed for a Health Center B-CAT (public access) television show to discuss how it felt to grow up in a home where Domestic Violence ruled and ultimately destroyed my mother. At first I was leery about it because I have kept this part of my life hidden from most people. But I thought, ‘If my example will help one person to make the step to escape with their life still in tact, I’ll do it.’ So I did it last Monday and it went by much smoother and faster than I imagined.

All in all, Domestic Violence Awareness month was a powerful eye opener for me. Although I lived it, I learned many things I didn’t know before. I also learned something valuable about myself. This is what I would like to do for the rest of my life – help people get out and also educate the public. I heard some very ignorant comments sitting at the tables for two mere hours. One man, who I once thought was very dignified, said upon seeing the tables, “Oh I don’t need that information. I only beat my wife once a month.’ Although it was meant to be a joke, it was in such poor taste that my perception of this person has plummeted to the dark depths of the ocean. He then went on to say that he didn’t need to take any literature for anyone that he knew because he would never surround himself with the likes of an abuser or a stupid victim. So sad that people walk around with brains and don’t use them. What a waste. He sounded so stupid on so many levels but no worries. We will educate him and others like him that seem to be in abundance. I am convinced that Domestic Violence will come to an end with great perseverance and heart. Let’s all come together as one and stamp it out!

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