Happy New Year everyone. In 2012, Memphis/Shelby County saw 31 DV related homicides and nearly 30,000 reported cases of domestic violence acts. If those statistics aren’t frightening enough, then consider this: 50% of calls made to EVERY county’s police precinct  in Tennessee is related to domestic violence. I am not one to make New Year’s Resolutions. I do, however, believe in writing down realistic goals and diligently work towards making those goals a reality. For 2013, I think it is relevant that we focus on keeping the theme from our 3rd Annual Men’s Brunch, From Conversation to Change.

As the year progresses, you will see WIANL host more events, participate in speaking engagements, presentations and make greater strides to help individuals transition from victim to victorious. More initiatives, innovation and independent and collaborative efforts are in the works. No longer can we, as a community, pretend that this problem of domestic violence does not exist. I call this a privately public problem, and it’s obviously getting worse. I’m asking individuals, businesses and organizations to get involved. I’m asking those who are most affected what they would need to make their lives better. In order to change a problem, you must first understand it. Whom better to get answers from than the ones dealing with it everyday.

I challenge everyone to please make an effort to do some self examination and ask yourselves if you’re doing enough in your community to protect yourselves and your citizens, coworkers, etc…regarding domestic violence. Are you doing anything at all? Know this. We are ALL affected by domestic violence in some way. One in three women are victims of domestic abuse. One in six men are victims. Children who witness violence as twice as likely to grow up to either abuse or become an abuser. Let’s stop meeting to meet. Let’s take the information retrieved from those meetings and move from conversation to change.