People experiencing domestic violence need to be encircled with protection.
This beautiful painting has become an iconic message of empowerment. When I look at this picture, I see a protection circle.
When I worked in corporate America, I achieved large-scale revolutionary corporate culture change in a wide array of organizations. The first step was always the identification and removal of abusive managers and executives. Once these people were gone, the employees were able to perform their jobs more effectively.
Several years later, I had a personal relationship with an exceedingly powerful judge who abused the power of his office and the women in his life. I realized that my professional and personal lives had intersected. Dysfunctional organizations are run by abusive people.
As I attempted to piece together the shattered pieces of my life, I discovered there are very few resources for women walking in my shoes. There are no guide books. There are no maps. I was essentially navigating uncharted waters.
This web site is about my journey. We need to teach people how to survive, thrive, and find joy. And, I thought that the benchmarking of best practices strategies we had successfully employed in corporate America could be equally effective in eradicating violence against women and children.
As my research continued, I read many great books especially the memoirs and autobiographies of a shockingly large number of famous people who had survived domestic violence in all its myriad guises. These people’s stories became my life rafts. I noticed each had dramatically pushed the envelope of domestic violence prevention. Alice Miller inspired me to break down the walls of silence. Eve Ensler urged me to keep working until the violence stops. Avon started their speak out campaign. To celebrate Gloria Steinem’s 75th birthday, the Ms. Foundation launched their Outrageous Acts campaign. What could I do?
I was asking myself that question one Friday afternoon when I saw Tacoma, Washington’s police chief on the evening news. I knew by the look on his face that his wife Crystal Judson Brame was in mortal danger. I didn’t know Crystal had gone everywhere the experts tell you to go to find shelter and protection. The next day she was mortally wounded by her estranged husband in front of their kids in a Gig Harbor, Washington parking lot. The people being paid to protect her decided to suck up to her powerful husband instead.
I got angry. Then, I got busy. There are a lot of people walking in Crystal’s shoes. I believe we all need to find a way to speak out. We need to leverage our talentsand professional expertise to make a difference. This web site has been created to facilitate those efforts, to provide resources and information, and to inspire others to become grassroots leaders in Eve Ensler’s V-Day movement to work “until the violence stops.”
My cat Bitzie became my muse and teacher. It’s humbling to acknowledge that I’ve learned some of my most important lessons from her.
Anne Caroline Drake, MBA/JD
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