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).