Friday, September 28, 2007

Stunned Silence, Acting in Courage

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. One in three women will be victimized in her lifetime. Today, crossing my email are local "news alerts" about a statutory rape charge by a former teacher and day care child abuse charges. A few days ago we learned it was a "good day" for a set of parents who after several years finally found out who murdered their daughter. Finding out she died why may never come.

Yet, for each of these cases where abuse - any abuse- is known there are hundreds if not thousands that we don't know about. Every day victims of domestic violence get up, go about their daily lives and carry the secrecy of victimization with them without ever saying a word.

In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month we have several activities coming up and I'm speaking in a few places. The Hope Quilt is on display at Carson Newman College in the counseling center. Phone calls and volunteers are increasing. Yesterday, a woman came in that helped to remind me why we are doing all of this. I was really glad she stopped by. She said we were a help to her. I hope so. That's what it is all about.

It's not enough for one person to speak out. To end the violence all survivors must join together with united voices in a cry so piercing that it will shock the world into a stunned quietness so it may hear. Then, as survivors we must gather in the silence to console each other, gather our courage and speak out for the change that will bring safety and peace to us all.

Until that day,


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