Walk a Mile in Her Shoes

Sweet Cause: Domestic Violence Awareness

Sweet Cause:  Domestic Violence Awareness

Domestic violence is one of those things that folks don’t like to talk about.

Many people would choose to converse about politics or religion before discussing it.

Creative measures generally draw more of a crowd than sheer talk.

This is why I fell in love with this:  Walk a Mile in Her Shoes ®.

Just take a look at this:

Guys. In heels. Walking to stop violence against women.

They strive to bring awareness to the causes and effects of violence against women.  Win.

I love that men are participating.  Women and children march as well, but I think there’s something to be said for the men’s participation.

How often do we associate abusers with men?

How often do we associate the victim with women?

How often do we focus on the victim, the end result, without focusing on the perpetrator?

Doesn’t it make sense to address the problem, instead of always trying to put a band-aid fix on the aftermath?

This program was created by Frank Baird with a handful of men prancing around a park.

The idea quickly caught on, and these marches have been taking place since 2001.

I would love to participate in a walk, but there are none happening in AL any time soon.  I may get one started, although the idea does terrify me just a bit. Can’t do it as a one-woman show…

Either way, it only costs $125 to get the “rights” to hold a march, which is a steal if you ask me.  If a walk is organized by a military group, Native Americans or Canadian First People, or anyone in any African nation, it is free to register.

I love that the organization gives you all you need to make the walk a success: steps to take, ideas, and they even sell “official” red pumps.

Can’t walk but want to donate?  You can do that here.

You can also take a look at this calendar and see where walks are scheduled for the next few months.

What about you: would you like to participate in a march?

True Confessions:  I was not asked to write this content.  I found a picture from one of the events online and looked into it myself.  I think it’s a great thing, though, and wanted to share it!

One is Entirely Too Many

1 is 2 Many

There are many things we want lots of.  I want lots of chocolate, great memories with my family, and good things said about me.

Then, there are some things that even one is too many:  spiders, Brussels sprouts, and domestic abuse.

We know the one in four statistic: one in four women have been a victim of domestic violence at some point in their life.

What we don’t know so well are these other statistics:

1 is 2 Many

The White House recently released a new PSA for the 1 is 2 Many campaign.

Folks, one is too many.  Entirely too many.

I know we often focus on grown women who are affected by violence, but I think it is equally as important to focus on our daughters, and to do so before it’s too late.

I appreciate the campaign’s information for parents about talking to their teens.  We really need to do it before then, though.

Don’t wait till your daughter comes home one day with a black eye.  Don’t wait till she’s been forced to do something she didn’t want to.

Do it now.  It doesn’t matter if she’s only five, or eight, or ten.  You can still talk to her about violence in an age-appropriate manner.

Unfortunately, the world we live in is filled with mean people, and no amount of sheltering is going to change that fact.  Equip your daughters for life.

And, equip your sons.  Teach them that there are appropriate ways to express their anger.

Teach them that it’s never OK to hit anyone.  Teach them it’s never OK to yell and say hurtful things.

Teach them it’s not OK to control someone.

We can’t keep putting a band-aid on this problem; we need to address the root, and like most things, it starts in the home.

 

Sweet Critique: “Mighty Fine”

Mighty Fine

Domestic violence takes on a variety of forms: physical violence, emotional abuse, monetary control.

No one way is worse than the other, and quite often, you’ll hear victims say that the emotional abuse is far more damaging than the physical violence.

Mighty Fine, a movie written and directed by Debbie Goodstein, touches on that emotional abuse.

Based on Debbie’s life, Mighty Fine chronicles the Fine family’s life.

Mr. Fine {Chazz Palminteri – yes, Sonny} moves his family from Brooklyn to New Orleans to be closer to his factory.

He showers his wife {Andie MacDowell} and two daughters {Jodelle Ferland and Rainey Qualley} with an extravagant home, nice cars, and other expensive gifts, but you soon realize something’s not quite right behind the scenes.

Mr. Fine has an anger management issue {to put it lightly}, and any little thing can set him off.

The movie takes you through the family’s life as they deal with their move and the way their husband and father acts.

I won’t give anything else away, you’ll just have to watch the movie when it comes out on May 25th {you can find out if it’s playing near you here}.

You can check out the trailer below.

MY THOUGHTS

I grew up with domestic violence around me.  It spanned the spectrum; I saw it all.

This is the reason I wanted to review this film.  I was thrilled that someone had done a movie based on family experiences with domestic violence.

I did come away feeling a little like the movie skipped around a bit too much and that it was a little too Hallmark for my tastes.

It seemed that every time the father got upset, the situation was easily diffused.  This was never my experience growing up.  The situations weren’t easily quieted in mere minutes.

Also, the end of the movie seemed rather abrupt and unrealistic.  I won’t go into details because that would give it away, but it’s just never been my experience that things are resolved in that manner.

All that said, I really had a hard time feeling like this because the movie was based on the writer’s life.  I mean, if that’s what she experienced, who am I to say it’s not right, you know?

Either way, the movie can get a dialogue going about domestic violence, and that’s what is most important.

The movie is rated “R”, mainly for language.  If the “F” word bothers you, you might have a hard time watching this movie.

I’m not a fan of gratuitous anything in movies, but I do think it is appropriate in this situation.  Domestic violence isn’t pretty, after all…

All-in-all, I’m glad I was part of this experience.  It was fun chatting online with the actors after the online screening {I’m not terribly swayed by celebrity, but I totally had a fangirl moment and took a screenshot of the chat with Chazz Palminteri…}, and great being a part of something that was more than just making a film to make money.

True Confessions:  I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Mighty Fine and the distributor. I received access to an online showing of the film and a promotional item to thank me for participating.

Sweet Cause: Real Women, Real Stories

I am grateful that today’s guest poster decided to share her story.  Each woman who has suffered through domestic violence has a story to tell, something to share, something that might help another woman in a similar situation.

If you’d like to share your story {anonymously is totally OK}, please contact me!

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Almost 11 years ago, I chose to get out. I was 22, with two sons, both toddlers at the time.

I had spent the previous 7 years with a man who abused me. Not every day. Some days were great.

But, the bad days, they were some of the worst days as a young mom, I would experience in my life. The abuse didn’t stop while pregnant with either of my sons, it happened less frequently, but still occurred.

I just tried my best to protect my unborn children and fortunately enough they were born physically unharmed.

I still wonder if the articles I’ve read about their mental well-being (while in-utero) is a constant effect on them without knowing what they would’ve been like without that trauma.

I did have my children in the beginning, but as a young mom, who stayed home, I had no income & no support system. I caved the first time my children’s father asked to see them & it went on that way, until we were sharing custody.

It was easier to parent with him helping & just “live” with him around with our sons growing & needing their father.

Moving on, I have had my fair share of dating, relationships, and even a failed 2 year marriage. I had several years of on/off therapy & self-help books to get me to a place where I could finally understand abuse & what I had become because of it.

I had landed a great job, found my independence, & I shared my life with two amazing little boys. Life was good!

4 years ago, my life changed again. I met the man who would become my husband & the father of my third child. A daughter. The game of life changed having her.

I’m so much more aware of how I want to raise her so she will never have to experience ANY of the physical & emotional pain, heartache, & emotional scarring that I have had in my life.

My sons are now 14 & 12. I’ve tried to educate them on DV & all that it means. It’s hard knowing they may have some genetic strand that will cause them to be angry & possibly violent someday.

I want them to be good husbands & fathers. They know some bits & pieces of the things their father has done. Unfortunately, they overlook it & continue to be his greatest fan.

This past year, they’ve even chosen to live with him, as I moved 5 hours away. I’m at peace with what I’ve taught them & helped create with them.

I can only hope that they someday realize the flaws of their father, if only to learn from & not become that man.

So, now, I am a stay-at-home mom again, to a little 2 year-old girl. I have found a great man. A man that provides for us, loves his daughter more than seems humanly possible, & takes care of me.

It took a lot to get here. But I did. The emotional scars fade more everyday & luckily the physical scarring is gone.

There were many days I wondered if I would ever find someone to love me, with all the baggage (emotional & physical) that came along with being my partner, but I did.

I encourage all victims of Domestic Violence to heal & accept love again. It isn’t all going to be the horrible way you may remember.

There are good, kind, & REAL men out there, that would never abuse a woman, in any form. Be patient & willing to find them and also receptive if they happen to find you!

I am hoping to find a good organization either locally or nationally to start to volunteer for and try to help through speaking or some type of outreach program.

On a side-note, I wished to keep my name out of this post only to protect my sons.

 

Sweet Cause: Sharing Domestic Violence Experiences

There is so much to talk about when it comes to awareness for any campaign:  how to help, what to look for, when things start happening, and who it happens to.

I’ve blogged a bit about what the signs of domestic violence are and what you can do to help someone who is a victim of domestic violence.

I plan to continue posts like these because I believe it’s important to educate people.  I couldn’t help but think, though, that personal experiences really drive home the importance of this awareness.

While I’ve briefly touched on my experience with domestic violence, and I’d like to give others the opportunity to share their experiences as well.

I’d like to feature survivors, those still in abusive relationships, children of these relationships, any story at all.  Please feel free to contact me if you’d like to contribute.  You can do so anonymously if you’d like.

Some posts will be guest posts here on Sweet Phenomena and other times I’ll link to posts that have been done before.

My bloggy friend, Meagan, is sharing her story today.  Meagan is an incredible lady who is always ready to help another blogger out, without even being asked.  You’d never know she had been in several abusive relationships.

Visit Meagan at Sunshine and Sippy Cups to read about her experiences with domestic violence, what finally caused her to rid herself of these relationships, and how she’s doing now!