Tag Archives: domestic violence awareness month

Are you out there?

are-you-out-thereAnother Domestic Violence Awareness Month comes to an end.  Indrani’s Light Foundation, along with hundreds of other organizations around the country promoted DVAM through social media, public events, emails, fundraisers, and other creative ideas.  I did some research about whether or not the month of October has been effective for domestic violence prevention organizations.  The first DVAM formed in 1987, and evolved from the “Day of Unity,” which was held in 1987 by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Although there is no hard data about whether or not DVAM has had a direct impact on the decrease of domestic violence, we CAN inform you that the rate of domestic violence has dropped 63% since 1994. (*Bureau of Justice Statistics)  Although this is a promising statistic, the sobering fact is that, in the next five minutes it may take you to read this blog, 100 people will have been abused by an intimate partner in the United States.  And this statistic DOES NOT include the number of mental and emotional abuse victims.

Just imagine for a moment, what the actual number of victims there are, who are suffering from physical, mental, and emotional abuse on the planet right now?  There are hundreds of thousands of women, men, and children in crisis right this very minute, and I am wondering if we are making a difference.  We blog, post informative and educational posts, produce videos to impact people, send out emails every week, and speak on stages about domestic violence prevention.  But are we doing enough?  Can we do more?

At Indrani’s Light, we are a small team who is passionate and determined to support Indrani Goradia’s mission to END violence against women and girls globally.  We are currently focusing on domestic violence in the United States, and work every day to build interest, and recruit people to help us teach our Live A Brighter Life curriculum in their communities to educate the public.  We formed the “Caregiver Project,” in which our trainers travel to women’s shelters and teach our curriculum to the shelter staff, and prevent them from burning out of this very emotionally charged career.

One day I asked Indrani how she stays focused on her mission, and how she keeps from getting discouraged when people do not seem to get involved in helping women and girls. This is what Indrani said … “A future free of gender violence starts with a single daily action from you.” (This is the first thing you will read on our website)  She went on to explain that she helps one woman at a time, and so should I.  We ARE making a difference because we are TAKING ACTION. We may need to work hard to recruit just one ILF Trainer, but that trainer will be worth every minute of effort.  Indrani told me we are doing this work for our children, our grandchildren, and their children.  This mission will not be accomplished overnight, but we will do our damnedest to be the part of history who changed the world, and made violence against women and girls a distant memory.

As I sit here ready to post, yet another, repetitive recruitment post on Facebook ….. I wonder if I’ll get 10 or 20 “likes,” or one comment. What I KNOW is if I post a cute dog or cat video on Facebook, I will get 28,000 views, 25 shares, 300 likes, and about 10 comments. What are we battling with when it comes to awareness and education about human rights? Have we burned the public out on the dark side of the world in which they need to close their eyes and ignore the pandemic of abuse?  I know there are people out there who feel called to help victims of domestic violence, but how do we reach them?  How can we get them to TAKE ACTION?

I will end this blog by asking a single question:

ARE YOU OUT THERE?

If you are ready to help one woman or child from being abused again, please click on this link and join us for our next Live A Brighter Life Class.

With Love & Light,

Amy Jaffe
Director of Education & Training | Indrani’s Light Foundation

 

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Playing Hide and Seek with Gender Based Violence in your world

It struck me today that one of the first steps we all must take in the fight against gender based violence is to start actively paying attention and noticing gender based violence.

How we each do this will be different, but for me, since starting my work at ILF, it means filtering the world through a new lens and quietly asking myself “was that gender based violence?” or “is there a message here about gender based violence?”

When someone like TMZ decides to post a video that is an extreme and obvious case of gender based violence (as in the Ray Rice situation) it is easy for everyone to say “well yes, that was a case of gender based violence, we need to do something about it.”

But what about all of the non-obvious, non-in-your-face examples?

  • What about the two kids that I always see playing in the local playground, sometimes with their 2 year old sister. Why do they NEVER want to be at home?
  • What about the gym teacher at the local high school who constantly smirks at his male students when one of the more well-endowed girls jogs by in class?
  • What about the sad little girl who went to the day home next door to my house that nobody noticed until the caregiver’s husband went to jail last year for molesting her?

If we are observing the world like everyone else all of these may slip below our radar.

But, if we start actively watching for gender based violence (and I am not saying this is easy, so take care of yourself) the number of incidents starts to become more and more clear, and it is only then we start to realize how important the commitment to ending gender based violence really is.

So, what was it that struck me today and brought this realization into the light?

The song Face Down by Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. This song has been out since 2007 and is tied as the longest-running song on the Modern Rock Tracks chart at 52 weeks. I have heard it countless times and thought nothing about it other than “great song, I like it”.

Today I watched the music video, with my new found GBV filter, and, wow, was I missing the point:

Link: http://youtu.be/6Ux6SlOE9Qk

 

Share your ideas about making gender based violence more obvious to the world in the comments below.

 

Love & light,

 

Jeremie Miller

ILF Team Member & Guest Blogger

Living in a pretend world. This is the world of the abused….

timthumbA few years ago, I had the great joy of speaking to groups of women who had been abused and who had found the strength to stay gone.

I remember asking them why it took as long as it did.

In one case 44 years and in others 20-25 years. The lucky ones where 10-15 years.

They ALL said the same thing:

  • They wanted to “make” their marriage work.
  • They wanted to be a better wife.
  • They wanted their children to have a father.

In every case they were searching for the “reality” that was never there.

They believed the broken promises of “never again.”

They believed the abuser when he said all they had to be was be a better wife, cook, daughter-in-law, income earner, mother, sex partner.

They believed in the pretend of their lives.

They chose to ignore the solid reality that something, many things were wrong.

It is my fervent hope that we can learn to live with the reality of our lives and leave the pretend to the film makers.

Love and light,

Indrani