A Time For Awareness
Summer’s end marks, in my mind, the start of domestic violence season. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Survivor advocacy groups across the country use September as a time to rally the public for their upcoming campaigns. Then, with October over, the fall continues with the anniversary of when I left my own abusive relationship back in November 2009.
Instead of finding it overwhelming, I see many events and campaigns that make me proud of the movement to end domestic violence and inspire me to participate.
The Week of Action
The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) sponsors a structured advocacy that runs October 16th through 22nd, the Week of Action. From “Conversation Sunday” to “Shout-out Saturday,” NNEDV makes it simple to help dismantle the stigma attached to victims, learn more about abuse and recovery, and to reach out to local media and lawmakers in support of survivors. NNEDV also has a page here to look up a local coalition to support by volunteering or with funding.
The city of Philadelphia is hosting Women Against Abuse’s annual press conference this year and is the focus of their iPledge public awareness initiative that is now “helping to create a coordinated community response to domestic violence”  in that city. You don’t have to be in Philadelphia to take part in the iPledge initiative. There is a toolkit that can be downloaded for anyone to use in their own community.
Find an Event Near You
The National Resource Center On Domestic Violence has a searchable listing of local events occurring across the country during domestic violence awareness month. NNEDV has tips on additional ways to show support, get involved and promote awareness on their domestic violence awareness month page.
Recovery Resource Alert
A coloring book was recently developed to help kids learn about nonviolent ways to show strength. A friend forwarded the information about this PDF coloring book last week. I appreciated the idea when I read the creator’s blog post about it. The coloring book is meant to help children who have lacked role models for strength. As someone who didn’t know about nonviolent strength until my mid/late twenties, however, I found the coloring book helpful for my ‘inner child” as well. I highly recommend checking it out, whether for yourself or for a kid in your life.
Other Recovery News - Freedom
Someone recovering from a particularly extreme form of abuse, Jaycee Lee Dugard, recently released her second memoir, Freedom: My Book of Firsts. While her experience as a kidnapping victim falls outside the umbrella of domestic violence, her story of recovery can provide a lot of reassurance to domestic violence survivors. (It inspired me, back in the summer of 2009 when she was rescued. I was still with my ex-husband at the time, and I felt helpless and unhelpable. When I heard of what Jaycee had endured for 18 years, I said to myself “if people can help her, they can probably help me too.” A few months later, I had seen my abuser for the last time.)
Dugard has come a long way in the 7 years since her 18 as a kidnapping and sex abuse victim. This second memoir celebrates all that she’s experienced and accomplished since. In Freedom, Jaycee shares her take on simple, everyday occurrences that most people take for granted but are encouragement and progress for someone coming out of isolation.
Rebecca encourages survivors of domestic to speak about their experiences and to lean on each other for support.