The WCA began the 31st Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) with two events this past weekend. I had the honor of talking with members of our community who are taking a stand against domestic abuse and violence in many ways. Some filled out #NoMore signs attesting to why they say “no more” to domestic violence, 575 people participated in the 9th Annual SueB Memorial 5K/10K Run/Walk, many first-time donors have chosen this cause to support and many of our long-time donors have increased their donations or pledges. What resonated with me most were the stories that were shared with me. A nurse told me she had referred three people to the WCA in the last month. A veteran was grateful to learn that we help men because he had no resources in a different state when his abusive wife tried to kill him. Boise State students wanted to know how they can help on campus. One women with tears in her eyes simply said, “thank you” and walked away.
The story that moved me the most was from a woman who came up to me just before the SueB race started. She shared that two years ago the WCA helped her mother-in-law escape an abusive relationship that had lasted over five decades. For six months, she worked with our court advocates, counselors and case managers. She was now happy and safe in another state. Through this process her adult sons realized how abusive their father had been and how they had normalized that behavior. They began their own healing processes and worked on healthy relationships with their families. The woman who told me this also shared that when her daughter realized she was in abusive relationship she said, “If Grandma can do it, I can do it, too!” She was able to walk away from that abusive relationship and is safe and healthy. As a footnote to our conversations, this kind woman also shared that she and a friend run in the foothills near where Sue B. was killed. They stop at the marker honoring Sue and take a moment to remember a woman who wasn’t able to get out of her abusive relationship in time to save her life. One of our goals at the WCA is to stop the cycle of violence and abuse. By helping one woman, the WCA was able to stop the cycle in multiple generations of a family. That long-term positive affect is not possible without the financial and volunteer support of our community. Thank you for taking a stand and saying “No More!”
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