I am passionate about preventing domestic violence. I believe we as a society can and should attack this problem on several fronts. I’ve written blogs about many of these. Click on the blue to read more about each one:
- Raise our sons not to be entitled – but to respect women
- Raise our daughters to have a voice, and be able to say “NO”
- Encourage men to stand against domestic violence
- Fight for stricter penalties for abusers in the court system, and for abusers NOT to get unsupervised access to their minor children
- Educate our faith leaders about domestic violence, so they can help, rather than hurt abuse victims
- Support domestic violence centers and help victims get access to them
- Educate and counsel victims of childhood DV
- Educate the general population about the signs of domestic violence
I’m sure this list isn’t exhaustive, and there are many other ways we as a society can fight this scourge.
Today, I’d like to focus on educating the general population about the signs of domestic violence. In working with former victims of DV, I have found that many were abused as children, and being treated poorly seemed “normal” to them. Others had wonderful upbringings. For these victims, they had no experience with domestic violence. When their partner acted jealous, they assumed it was because he* really loved them. When he became angry, they believed they had done something wrong, and tried to fix themselves for him. In their inexperience with being treated badly, they had a hard time imagining anyone would purposely behave abusively.
I believe we could prevent both types of women from becoming victims if education about DV was available in our public buildings, schools, churches, etc. BeautyCares.org has created a poster that describes 8 warning signs to look for in a potential partner. Click here for the link. The poster is available as a free download in eleven languages including Mandarin and Hungarian. There is also an English version for students aged eleven to twenty.
While I’m talking about BeautyCares, I will mention some of their other great programs:
- “Day 1” Program (where they give a chair massage, makeover, hairstyle, and life coach session to former victims)
- Beauty Cares about Kids (helps children who are DV victims)
- “Make Under” video (Powerful!)
- Education = Prevention Tour
- 1in4NOMORE campaign
- Ambassador Program
I encourage anyone who reads this blog to print off BeautyCares’ 8 Signs of Domestic Abuse poster, and display it somewhere others can see it and learn from it. You might save someone’s life!
Wisdom is power. Ephesians 5:15-16 says:
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
Dear Lord, I pray you will help our society become more educated about domestic violence so that more people will be aware of the warning signs. Also, I pray we will do a better job raising our children so we will have fewer abusers in the next generation. Give us your wisdom and boldness to do all we can to fight this evil Lord. Amen.
* In this blog, I refer to the abuser as “he” and the victim as “she.” Please note victims can sometimes be male, and abusers female, or the victims and abusers can be the same sex.