While there are recent reports to show that overall violence is on the decrease in Memphis, domestic violence is actually showing a slight increase in recent months. There are statistics demonstrating the astronomical amounts of money being spent in medical care for victims. The same is true for the number of children that witness the abuse and/or abused themselves. Is there anything that can be done to protect ourselves and our children? And what about the abuser? Isn’t the aggressor in just as much need of assistance as the one who is being abused?
As a society, we’ve taken the ‘not my business’ approach to this issue for far too long. It is simply time out for continuing to pretend that an obviously public issue be looked upon as a private matter. We MUST get involved. If you believe that someone is being abused, call for assistance. Do it anonymously. Sometimes people are crying out for help, but they just don’t know how to express it. Sometimes, they simply just can’t. How many times have we seen or heard the stories of abusers literally following their victim’s every move; monitoring their spending, mileage, telephone calls, etc…? Fear is an extremely powerful tool. Children are oftentimes especially fearful because they’re so afraid of getting themselves or someone else in trouble that they are truly scared silent.
In addition to calling for help, take some time to volunteer with other organizations who are already involved with awareness initiatives. Be a positive sounding board for a victim in need of someone to listen to them. Gently walk them through the process of walking away from their situation.
Or…. do what I did and start a movement yourself! This is an issue that needs immediate attention drawn to it and waiting on others’ approval, acceptance or ‘the right time’ was just not a option for me. Grassroots efforts can be effective and often times very appreciated. When you’re on the ground running with minimal resources, people recognize that you’re doing it from the heart. Knowing that you’re doing something that may potentially save someone’s life is a reward within itself. So, let’s get involved and be creative in not only finding tangible ways to help the abused, but let’s take a look at how we can help the abuser as well.