October was Domestic Violence Awareness Month; November is National Adoptions Month. Both are a reflection of serious social injustices and problems. Domestic Violence in America is pervasive, negatively impacting individuals and children at an alarming rate. Additionally, too many children are in need of adopting because of these issues--domestic violence, family dishevel, substance abuse, and the list goes on. CEO Jim Roberts shares his own personal experience with domestic violence and the need to fervently stride forward and forge new successes in prevention to bring about more Social Justice, ending inequality and cycles of abuse and poverty.
Tag: Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Meet Sacha one of the incredibly strong youth in our Wraparound program. After her mother lost her job and they were evicted from their home, Sacha, her mom and two younger sisters had no choice but to move in with her uncle to avoid homelessness. But life in his house was horrific. Unbeknownst to Sacha’s mom, her uncle was a violent man with unpredictable moods. Sacha and her sisters were subjected to his verbal and physical abuse daily, always when their mother was out of the house. When Sacha’s uncle broke her arm in a violent outrage, Sacha’s mom quickly learned the truth and immediately called the police on her brother.
Faced with fear and instability, the family was referred to FCNI's Wraparound Program so each family member could be partnered with the individual support they needed to heal and develop stronger life skills. Sacha's trauma manifested in her behaviors; she was unpredictable and, sometimes violent, especially towards her mom whom she no longer trusted and misguidedly blamed for the abuse. Sacha’s mom expressed to their team how much she was struggling with shame about her choices and that she felt that as a parent she wasn’t able to meet her girls’ needs. Sacha was paired with an Rehabilitation Specialist (RS) to help her identify and process her emotions better, so that she could utilize healthier coping and communication skills to resolve conflicts; and her mother was matched with a Parent Partner so that she could get help navigating her “new normal” within the system--therapy sessions, parenting classes and other requirements of the program.
To help focus their energy and attention on their healing, their Wraparound team collaborated with other partnering agencies to set up a weekly schedule of support, including team meetings, individual and family therapy sessions, Rehabilitation Specialists (RS) contacts, tutoring, school, and life-skills development. Each step in this process required time and patience, the team working slowly to help the family build on their strengths--their love for and commitment to each other--so that they had the skills and confidence to achieve a goal in order to move on to the next. Read Sacha's full story today and find out how you can support families recovering from domestic violence and abuse.
CEO Jim Roberts carries on his conversation surrounding social justice into a broader social context–Domestic Violence and the substantial impact it has across all segments of our society. Many of the children, youth, and adults we serve are victims of Domestic Violence and the lingering trauma it produces. There is a critical need to develop localized Community Strategies to end domestic violence, utilizing the the seven CDC Prevention Guidelines to teach safe relationship skills and disrupt developmental pathways towards domestic violence early on.
October is “Domestic Violence Awareness Month”; but I really take issue with the whole premise of this focus. Being “aware” of Domestic Violence produces nothing! We are in the middle of a pandemic. Being aware of Covid-19 won’t protect you unless you do something about it. We hear it said multiple times every day–wash your hands regularly, wear a mask, social distance, avoid crowds, etc. Why? To prevent the spread of the virus! PREVENTION--not Awareness--is our goal!
Recently, I pulled up a slide presentation for a training I lead for staff here at Family Care Network about Intimate Partner Violence. In my effort to refresh the slides and update statistical information, I was reminded that October marks National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
In providing this training to my colleagues, I sometimes preface my presentation by stating that although I did not learn what I am sharing in college or at an institute, I feel that I have expertise in the subject of Domestic Violence because I lived it. As a child who grew up in an abusive home where the cycle of violence played out over and over again with the abuse becoming increasingly worse over the years, sometimes I feel as if I have earned a degree in the subject from the school of hard knocks.