Monday

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month - 7 Ways You Can Make a Difference

You may have heard a story about domestic violence, been a victim yourself or just don't understand why women stay, whatever your reason for being interested in Domestic Violence Awareness, you are at least making an attempt to educate yourself and possibly help someone else and that's all anyone who once was a victim and those who are now deceased would want, but for those people who want to do more, the following are tips to help you get started.

First, conduct research about domestic violence. You should be able to answer some of the why, how, when, what, and who questions related to the subject. Also, read about others' plights. Even though many of the stories have similar patterns, there is always something new in each that may stimulate thoughts of " I never knew that."

Second, be sure that you are sincerely empathetic and not judgmental about those who have been in violent relationships. You will know if you have resolved your own issues about women who stay, by how you react when listening to their stories. If you find that you are pushing down negative feelings and trying hard to refrain from making harsh comments, then it would be best that you don't attend any events or visit places where people are sharing their traumatic ordeals until you can get a command over your own feelings. The last thing that any victim or survivor wants is another person telling them "how stupid" he or she is for staying.

Third, conduct research in your community of existing events about domestic violence awareness. Are there any groups hosting a vigil for the deceased? What about workshops and seminars? Are there any advertisements, public service announcements, fliers, or some other literature readily available and widely seen in your neighborhood to call attention to the problem.

Fourth, find out from local police how they respond to domestic violence calls and what you should do if you hear or witness someone being abused.

Fifth, create a list of ways you may be able to let people know about domestic violence. You may want to distribute information and trinkets with a hotline number and/or create a fund-raiser and give the proceeds to a local women's shelter. Take out ad space in your local newspaper. If you are affiliated with a church, find out how leadership handles domestic violence cases and offer to speak about the issue. You can also work with schools and local colleges to appear as a guest speaker.

Sixth, pen your experience in a form of a book or record your story on audio. Let people know how you overcame your own situation. Then offer your book or audio to individuals or organizations who might be interested in your subject matter. A local theater may be interested in performing your life story in play form.

Lastly, be a good listener. Know what to say and how to say it when someone shares details of their life. Be ready to provide advice. You can obtain information from any women's shelter or simply type in "domestic violence" along with your state's name in your search engine window. A list of organizations are already established with free information to help you.

Nicholl McGuire, Author
Laboring to Love an Abusive Mate http://www.amazon.com/Laboring-Love-Abusive-Mate-21-year-old/dp/1434818306

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God didn't put you with an abusive mate. Your flesh did.

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