One of my biggest pet peeves is that the women’s movement was launched by Elizabeth Cady Stanton to end domestic violence. But, it never became a priority for her followers. NOW is big on sexual assault, but domestic violence has gotten the short end of the stick.
Terry O’Neill, a domestic violence survivor, was elected NOW’s new president. According to NOW’s press release, Ms. O’Neill was instrumental in establishing Maryland’s first Family Justice Center for survivors of domestic violence:
My experience with domestic violence, as an abused wife left me humiliated and embarrassed. I only began to talk about this publically five years ago as I realized that to keep quiet was to continue the abuse. I want to empower women and telling my story does just that. Women are fed up with persistent inequality and are ready for change. I am honored and eager to lead NOW in making that change.
Ms. O’Neill ran a Feminist Leadership NOW campaign on WordPress in opposition of the slate of candidates supported by out-going NOW president Kim Gandy. These were the same folks who went after David Letterman for his comments about Sarah Palin’s daughters.
Ms. O’Neill received her law degree from Tulane University, clerked at the US Court of Appeals in Chicago, was a law school professor, and practiced law before becoming chief of staff for a Montgomery County, Maryland council member.
The Crystal Judson Brame Family Justic Center was established in Tacoma, WA. Before her murder, Crystal called NOW and the local shelter for help and came away empty. Her father Lane Judson has become an amazing activist. A link to his web site has been added to my blog roll. While Crystal was in intensive care, he made a promise to her that he has kept:
Crystal, I am going to do whatever I can to make sure
this doesn’t ever, ever, ever happen to anyone again.
I made the same promise to the Judson family. Let’s hope that Ms. O’Neill will keep her promise too.