Changing Your Community

Domes­tic vio­lence doesn’t only affect those who are expe­ri­enc­ing it at home. Those in abu­sive sit­u­a­tions bring their expe­ri­ences, feel­ings, learned behav­iors and atti­tudes into their schools, work­places, streets and other places. This leads to vio­lence on the streets, in the work­place and in schools.

We all must take respon­si­bil­ity for safety in our com­mu­ni­ties. This isn’t just a fam­ily issue but a com­mu­nity issue. You can make a dif­fer­ence in your community.

What can I do in my community?

  1. Get informed about domes­tic vio­lence. Edu­ca­tion is the first step toward end­ing the cycle of vio­lence. There is lit­er­a­ture avail­able about domes­tic vio­lence. You can find this infor­ma­tion online, in books or through a local ser­vice provider.
  2. Edu­cate your peers. Ini­ti­ate a Domes­tic Aware­ness Cam­paign within your school with the help of teach­ers, school coun­selors, or a local ser­vice provider. Look in your com­mu­nity for peer edu­ca­tional groups such as STAR (Stu­dents Ter­mi­nat­ing Abu­sive Relationships).
  3. Make it known in your school that vio­lence will not be tol­er­ated and encour­age peers to seek help in find­ing non­vi­o­lent ways to express feel­ings of frus­tra­tion, anger and sadness.
  4. Com­mence con­ver­sa­tions about domes­tic vio­lence. There are many peo­ple liv­ing in vio­lent sit­u­a­tions and it is impor­tant that they know they are not alone and they should not be ashamed. This is not a pri­vate issue. It affects the entire com­mu­nity. Chil­dren and teens exposed to vio­lence often bring this learned behav­ior to school.
  5. Rede­fine gen­der roles. Edu­cate to change stereo­types of women and men. Gen­der stereo­types con­tribute to domes­tic vio­lence. Often men feel because of their gen­der they have the right to con­trol women by any means nec­es­sary. Women often accept this because of the same mis­con­cep­tions about gender.
  6. Help to edu­cate the police about domes­tic vio­lence. There are train­ing pro­grams to edu­cate police about the issue of domes­tic violence.
  7. Write let­ters to local and fed­eral gov­ern­ment offi­cials express­ing the need within your com­mu­nity for domes­tic vio­lence pre­ven­tion programs.
  8. Write let­ters to local and fed­eral gov­ern­ment offi­cials ask­ing for stricter penal­ties for abusers.
  9. Write let­ters to large com­pa­nies ask­ing for their sup­port in cre­at­ing domes­tic vio­lence pre­ven­tion edu­ca­tion pro­grams in your schools, after-school pro­grams or clubs.

You are very impor­tant in this edu­ca­tional process. You have a voice that will make a difference.

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