Sweet Cause: Brave Woman #BraveWoman #CBias

Last month I brought you guys a post about Brave Woman, a site dedicated to supporting and empowering the brave women who are in and are leaving domestic violence situations.  It is my goal to shine a light on domestic violence and spark conversation, and by doing so, accomplish a few things:

  • help those who might be in an abusive situation
  • provide resources for those who do not know how to help someone in an abusive situation
  • keep the conversation going so that we can work to end domestic violence, and
  • help parents realize how important it is for them to talk to their sons and daughters about domestic violence, why it’s wrong, what the signs are, and how to get help.

My Goals for 2012

 

As I mentioned in my “what’s coming up in 2012″ post, my goal is to have a regular posting schedule for Sweet Cause.  This is the main way I hope to take a stand and help others.  The posts will focus on warning signs, resources, material to use when talking to your children, stories from survivors, etc.

In addition, I have taken the Brave Woman pledge:

I pledge to honor and respect brave women and children who tackle the difficult journey of change from domestic violence to a new life. I acknowledge my own moment-by-moment bravery, will remain aware of what is happening to others around me, and speak up against violence in any form. I will stand up for human dignity and safety for women and children.

I would like to develop an eBook that takes parents step-by-step through the process of discussing domestic violence in an age-appropriate manner with their children.  Don’t wait till your child is a teen experiencing violence, start from an early age.

I would like to help the local safe house in my county.  Volunteering can sometimes be difficult due to the sensitive nature of the situation, but there are still ways to help such as making donations.

I would like to find other ways to help that are currently unknown to me, hopefully making an impact in someone’s life.

Why Am I Taking the Pledge?

 

I recently had someone mention to me that they couldn’t stand people like me who talked about domestic violence but who had never personally been abused.  While it’s true, I have never personally experienced domestic abuse from my partner {thank goodness}, I know all too well what it is like to grow up in a household affected by it.

While you are not scarred in the same way as someone being directly abused, you are still affected.  What you see, what you hear, what you experience, it sticks with you, especially as an innocent child who doesn’t understand what is going on.

We recently had a representative from the county’s safe house come and talk to a group of homeschool girls.  She gave each girl a sheet of paper and pointed out how nice and clean and perfect the paper was.  She then instructed them to crumple the paper up, as much as they could.  After the paper was crumpled, they were told to try to smooth it back out to it’s perfect state.  Of course, it was impossible to get it back to that smooth piece of paper.  While they could flatten it, and get it to look much better, the paper still had the remnants of the damage that was done to it.

She wanted to illustrate that abuse, no matter it’s form, leaves marks on a person, just like they had left on their papers.  We’re all imperfect, so we’re going to mark papers no matter what.  Some marks are worse than others, though, and despite not having been personally abused, I have marks from the situation nonetheless.

In addition to the horror of seeing your mother being hit, having alcohol thrown in her face while holding an infant, being yelled at, seeing holes being punched in walls, seeing things broken to pieces in a fit of rage, and many other things, I became hyper-vigilant, sensitive to situations in which people have been drinking a bit too much or doing drugs, uncomfortable around men, and have been diagnosed with PTSD.  I run the risk of putting myself in the wrong type of relationships, you know, “the cycle.”

It affects you, it just affects you in different ways.  This is why I’m so passionate about domestic violence prevention and awareness.  I know what it’s like, I just know it from a different point of view.

I encourage you to join me in raising awareness.  I encourage you to change the pledge.  I would love it if you followed along throughout the year while I shed light on this subject.  Also, please feel free to support Brave Woman on Facebook and Twitter.  Also, check out their site for resources, not just for those in abusive relationships, but for those who are looking to help others as well.

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