Archive for the ‘Domestic Violence’ Category

A survivor’s voice to #PassVAWA2012

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

 

Originally posted on Minnesota Feminists Speak Out!, the other blog that I feel guilty about neglecting. Har de har.

 

TODAY, November 14,  is the #PassVAWA2012 Day of Action.  Why?

October was Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  You can be forgiven for being “unaware,” for the presidential election seemed to swallow up the world’s attention. The issue of violence against women barely made a ripple in the ocean of campaign ads, debates, and literature, though the reauthorization of the 1994 Violence Against Women Act has been held up in Congress for nearly two years, subject to partisan bickering over what should be a very simple vote in support of fully funding resources to combat violence in our communities across the country.

One woman didn’t forget–she couldn’t.  She is our friend and colleague Laurie Olmon, and she is a survivor.  She made this video to remind us all of what’s at stake.

Please watch and tell others–especially your Senators and Representatives–that domestic violence affects everyone, every day, in every community.

Take action NOW! Join the #PassVAWA2012 Social Media Campaign! 

From our friends at the National Task Force to End Sexual & Domestic Violence Against Women:

Be a part of a ground-breaking campaign to leverage the full power of social media in fighting for the Reauthorization of VAWA! Join the #PassVAWA2012 Facebook Photo Campaign to tell Congress that it’s time to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act!  It’s easy, just snap photos of you, your friends, your colleagues, & sympathetic strangers holding up signs saying why we need to Pass VAWA NOW!  Submit your photos via email to lccref@gmail.com or tweetpic with #PassVAWA2012. 

Join the Task Force at 12:00pm Eastern on Thursday, November 8th for a very important VAWA update and organizing call. Dial-in Number: 1-213-226-0400 Conference Code: 451747

FFI:

Alexandra House, providing support, resources, and advocacy for survivors of violence and the families in the Twin Cities and across Minnesota

National NOW Core Issues: Violence Against Women

 

 

Why doesn’t she leave? Only she knows

Friday, January 27th, 2012

I love my feminist sisters and brothers, but they aren’t perfect.  Feminists can be power trippers, backstabbers, and my-shit-don’t-stinkers as much as any other segment of the human population.

That said, there are certain ground rules that are accepted when one claims membership in The Feminist Club.  They are so mind-numbingly obvious that I feel idiotic even replicating them, but here they are:

Feminists who’ve had abortions are not called “baby-killers.”

Feminists of color are not called racist slurs.

Feminists who are rape survivors are not called “sluts.”

Feminists who are LGBTQ are not called any homophobic insults.

We gird ourselves daily against this disapprobation from the general population, so we should understand that when we are in a feminist space, we will be safe from this kind of garbage.

It follows, then, that this is also a Feminist Club Ground Rule:

Feminists in abusive relationships are not called “weak,” and/or dissed publicly for what they are going through.

Yet it happens, and much more often than you’d think.  WHY?  Marie De Santos, director of the Women’s Justice Center, an advocacy group in Sonoma County California wrote this in a piece called “Why Doesn’t She Leave?”

why the glaring blind spot in regard to domestic violence victims? Why are women denied even the validation of the dangerous dynamics of her dilemma? Why do so many people still hold a view, as cloaked as it may be in paternal tones, that is more in sync with the perpetrator’s stance than with the victim’s? 

Why, indeed.

There was a time, I admit, when I did think that the first thing an abused woman should do was leave.  She should walk out, call the cops, get one of those restraining order thingies that I thought solved everything…  but there was also a time when I didn’t think that women could be raped by their boyfriends.   I also spent a portion of my life believing in Santa Claus.  What happened?

I listened, I learned, I grew the fuck up.

Despite our gut feeling that a woman in an abusive relationship “needs” to leave, she might have good reasons for not going anywhere.  Statistics tell us that the victim is actually in the MOST danger when she is in the process of leaving–and 76% of women killed by their abusers had been stalked prior to their murders.

On December 28, 2011, the author, entrepreneur & blogger Penelope Trunk posted a photo of the bruise her husband gave her.  Naturally, it went viral.  Four days later, she responded: “I’m absolutely shocked by the collective hatred and disdain for women who are in violent relationships….for some reason, people feel it is honorable to rip a woman to shreds if she is living with domestic violence.”  She also declared, in no uncertain terms, that she is staying with her husband.

I wouldn’t.  But I’m not Penelope Trunk.  If I were her friend, though, I’d let her know that she had my support whenever and wherever she needed it.  If she showed interest, I’d help her create a detailed and thorough safety plan.  Penelope isn’t keeping her abuse a secret, obviously, but other women might want to, so I would be absolutely certain that I didn’t expose my friend’s situation without her permission.  After all, the consequences of breaking the silence would be borne by my friend, not me. Reality check: 30% of women homicide victims were killed by their intimate partners.  

If you aren’t sure about how to react to a person’s story of domestic violence,  don’t judge.  Listen.  Answers will reveal themselves, one story at a time.

 

TO LEARN MORE:

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence Resource Center

IF YOU NEED HELP:

The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)