Please join me in celebrating the YWCA’s Blog Carnival this week. If you don’t have a blog, please spread the word via social media. Let’s celebrate everyone ~ including us ~ who has survived domestic violence, child abuse, and sexual assault. And, let’s remember those who didn’t.
Katie Stanton, the YWCA’s Social Media & Online Engagement Manager, explained the YWCA’s commitment to the Week Without Violence™ campaign:
According to the American Medical Association, more than 20% of women in the United States have experienced intimate-partner violence, stalking or both. A full 17% have reported rape or attempted rape. On average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States (CDC).
We all know someone who has experienced violence – she might be a family member, a friend, a co-worker. All too often, they are us.
The YWCA Week Without Violence™, held annually every third week in October, is a signature initiative created by YWCA USA nearly 20 years ago to mobilize people in communities across the United States to take action against all forms of violence, wherever it occurs. Each year, YWCAs all around the country host local Week Without Violence™ events and create a public dialogue about violence, in all of its forms.
I know from firsthand experience that the YWCA offers more help and hope to domestic violence survivors than most DV shelters and advocates. So, I applaud and support this campaign. To this end, I am joining the blog carnival with daily posts.
My first YWCA shout-out is to Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA1), who established transitional housing for survivors as a YWCA volunteer. The local YWCA sponsors the Shelter + Care program which provides permanent housing for about 300 people. Many are survivors of domestic violence and child abuse. In addition to a roof over their heads, participants get the support that they need to thrive, find joy, and become financially self-sufficient. It is one of HUD’s most brilliant programs.
Rep. DelBene’s first act as a Congresswoman was to secure passage of funding for the Violence Against Women Act. I am proud to report that she has returned her pay during the government shutdown.
Tomorrow I’m going to do a shout-out to Elizabeth Gilbert, who was the keynote speaker at the local YWCA’s fundraiser last May. I will be reviewing her enchanting new book, The Signature of All Things.
How can you join the Blog Carnival and celebrate the YWCA’s Week Without Violence? Ms. Stanton suggests:
We encourage you to write a blog post telling us what you think it will take to eliminate violence against women and girls in the United States. What are the biggest challenges? What still needs to be done? How have you been involved with ending violence in your community? Check out last year’s blog carnival for inspiration. (Don’t know what a blog carnival is? Click here.)
The YWCA USA will collect the blog posts and publish them throughout the week of October 14 – 20. We will share the posts on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest using the hashtag #ywcaWWV, and we welcome you to share them, too!
My suggestion is that we give shout-outs to people who are making a difference. We sound like victims when we perpetually whine about what’s wrong. We empower ourselves and others when we celebrate people who leverage their skills and expertise to make our world a safer and more peaceful place.
For example, Seattle’s ABC affiliate KOMO reported yesterday that the Amber alert abduction by a PAS father was domestic violence. Bravo! Our CBS affiliate, however, parroted the PAS grandfather’s excuse that it was a “misunderstanding” between parents. Wrong! The mother had a restraining order.
Protective mothers face extraordinary misperceptions about the challenges they face to keep their children safe from abusive fathers who manipulate the legal system as an instrument of abuse. So, we need to celebrate the reporters who get it right. We need to thank and recognize them.
Related posts and links:
Amber Alert suspect in custody after son’s kidnapping, KOMO (Seattle’s ABC affiliate), 10/14/13
This post is part of the YWCA Week Without Violence™ 2013 Blog Carnival. We invite you to join the dialogue! Post your comment below, share your story and follow the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #ywcaWWV.