October is Domestic Violence Awareness month – and as if on cue, our local and national conversation seems to be providing plenty of opportunities for discussions on the complex issues surrounding both domestic violence and sexual assault! The shooting death of two California cops responding to a domestic violence disturbance, the conversation about what is acceptable to say privately rather than publicly about women and the discussion of what has more impact – words or actions. We are grateful for the conversations. These conversations are painful to many who have suffered the trauma of one and sometimes both, but they can also be liberating. The more victims understand that the actions perpetrated on them are in fact NOT what everyone considers “normal”, the more they are empowered to tell of their experience, the more I believe they will realize they are not alone and not to blame. When all of us hold each other, and in particular our leaders, accountable – then we will see a shift in how our community and our nation responds to the sometimes subtle words, thoughts and actions that are behind the devaluing of another human being and we will in fact move closer to the WCA’s vision of “Fostering a community where individuals thrive in safe, healthy relationships”. So bring on the conversations and the scrutiny of what we as individuals and as a community want to consider acceptable for ourselves, our family, friends and neighbors.
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