October 14 2009 Native American Newsletter
Domestic Violence Awareness 2009
Article written by Phyllis Doyle Burns
Domestic violence touches the lives of Americans of all ages, leaving a devastating impact on women, men, and children of every background and circumstance. A family's home becomes a place of fear, hopelessness, and desperation when a woman is battered by her partner, a child witnesses the abuse of a loved one, or a senior is victimized by family members.
The above quote is from The Domestic Violence Awareness Project, DVAP. October 2009 is "Domestic Violence Awareness Month" or DVAM.
Everyone, in every walk of life, may have violence in their personal life or know a friend or acquaintance who is up against this major concern. Often people are too afraid to get involved or turn to someone for help. There is help out there for everyone who needs it. No one has to be made to feel they are suffering alone with no where to turn.
The DVAP is a diverse and unique partnership of local, tribal, state and national domestic violence organizations and networks. They collect, develop and distribute resources and ideas relevant to advocates' ongoing public and prevention awareness and education efforts not only in preparation for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, but also throughout the year.
S.E. Ruckman is a citizen of the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes in Anadarko, Oklahoma. An article she wrote in October 2008, appears in Native American Times which can be found at the related link below. In that article, "Domestic Violence Not The Indian Way", Ruckman states "..silence is the most prevalent of perpetrators in this dark drama."
Becoming aware of the dangers of domestic violence, learning to recognize the signs of impending trouble and realizing that there is help is so important for everyone to know. To know that there is a way, some help, is the first step in reaching out. Living with the pain and fear of violence every day is a tragedy that can be prevented.
Everyone, even if not involved or connected to any issue with domestic violence, should become aware, educate themselves and learn to recognize the danger signs. There may be someone in your area who desperately needs help but is either too afraid to speak up or does not have access to phones, computers or other help lines. It is our duty as citizens and our obligation to humanity to help those who are lost and needing help.
If one does not want to physically get involved there are ways to alert officials anonymously and get help for those in danger. Just last week I was awoken by loud shouting, cussing and the sound of a young baby screaming outside in our apartment complex. I got out of bed, peeked out my window, and saw about 12 people shoving and threatening each other. All seemed to be drunk and very angry. One woman was holding the baby and involved in pushing and being pushed around. I called the police, reported the incident and in very short time several officers were on the scene and several arrests were made. I later found out that the baby was safe with grandparents. I had made an anonymous call for help because I felt it my duty to that baby, even though I knew none of the people involved.
Please, become aware, educate yourself and help those who feel they have no one and no where to turn for help. You may save a life. Please refer to the related links below for further information and guidance.
Domestic Violence Awareness Project
Not The Indian Way
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Phyllis Doyle Burns, Native American Editor
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