Saturday, March 13, 2010

Social Justice Challenge: Domestic Violence and Child Abuse

I am participating in the Social Justice Challenge, which has a different theme each month. We are charged with reading about the topic, watching movies or videos on the topic, thinking about the topic, and even acting up on it. This month's topic is Domestic Violence and Child Abuse. As the Social Justice Challenge website points out, unfortunately, there is no shortage of information on this topic.


Step one is to answer questions posed by the challenge organizers:
  • What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of domestic violence and child abuse? The first thing that comes to mind is despair. Working in a high school I have come across my fair share of students (and their parents) who are experiencing abuse, whether it is emotional or physical. My heart aches for them as I see how difficult it is for them to escape the cycle of abuse. As a teacher I am bound by law to report even suspected abuse and that is an awful feeling to call Child Protective Services.
  • What does domestic violence and child abuse mean to you personally? Personally, it means not having the ability to stand up for oneself. Perhaps having low self-confidence or not having the financial ability to leave a situation.
  • What is your current knowledge of domestic violence and child abuse? I know that it is prevalent across all age, racial and socio-economic groups, it comes in numerous forms (sexual, emotional and physical), that it is often cyclical (the abused go on to abuse others), and victims sometimes blame themselves.
  • Are you aware of the resources available for men, women and children who find themselves in domestic violence and child abuse situations? Yes, I am aware of various groups in my town that offer shelter to those who are escaping abusive situations. I also know that one can donate cell phones to these groups so that victims have a way of calling for help.
  • Have you chosen a book or resource to read for this month? I am going to read a book published in my town which we have in my school's library that is short stories and poetry written by victims. Honestly, I cannot remember the name of the book at this moment.
  • Take some time and think about what potential action steps you could take.  (I’ll have a post dedicated to this shortly). 

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