Simple Ways to Help End the Cycle of Domestic Violence
Domestic Violence is an issue in every community. It is typically a silent, creeping, almost invisible fog that washes over our community members until someone gets hurt badly, until it's the town gossip at the super market, until it's in the local paper, until someone we know and care about is killed- then we all notice. Here are some super simple ways you can help give a voice to those hiding in silence. These simple strategies can help end domestic violence in our communities, and if we learn and share these techniques they will carry on for miles and last for generations.
Stop playing the "blame game"
Well, her clothes were always too tight.
She liked to party.
She is too headstrong.
Do you know how much make-up she wears?
She hung out with the wrong crowd.
She was asking for it.
It's her fault for picking the wrong guy.
Blaming someone for being assaulted or abused is not the way to end abuse. The solution is not to "avoid being abused" the name of the game is "Change the Conversation" where we are not blaming someone for what they wear, what they do in their free time or their behavior, it's holding offenders responsible and accountable for their abusive actions. No one deserves to be abused.
Educate yourself and your loved ones on domestic violence. There are tons of resources related to domestic violence awareness and education. Domestic violence is complex, it has been normalized in our media, our music, our jokes and our communities. We must internalize these normalizations so we can say "Hey, that's not okay." We need to educate ourselves so we can educate our next generation on what a healthy relationship looks like. We need to inspire critical thinking that will provide the social change we all need and desire. If you have questions about domestic violence education, call us at 218-547-1636.
Be super awesome
If someone that you love comes to you and expresses that they have experienced domestic violence, be awesome and just listen. Remember, there is a tremendous difference between asking a question and questioning someone. If someone comes to you with a lived abuse experience, actively listen to them, believe them, make them feel validated because chances are this is a really hard thing for them to do- speak about the abuse they have endured. This is a great time to refer them to a domestic abuse advocate so they can give your loved one the resources they need.
If it feels weird, it's probably weird
If you see something, say something. Many times people that are in an abusive relationship are not able to have a cell phone, they are monitored, they are not able to make a call for the help they desperately need when they are being abused. Don't be afraid to call law enforcement if you see or hear something that you think is potentially harmful to someone. We have been instilled with the idea of "Not my monkey, not my circus". Prioritize safety and accountability. Again, be awesome!