Domestic and sexual violence are pervasive problems that can affect any family, regardless of age, income, race, gender, religion or sexuality. Around the world, it is estimated that 35% of women will experience domestic or sexual violence in their lifetime — approximately 1 in 3 women. Men are also victims of domestic and sexual violence. Gender violence is a global problem — but its roots lie in the home. According to Mother Theresa, “peace and war begin at home. If we truly want peace in the world, let us begin by loving one another in our own families. If we want to spread joy, we need for every family to have joy.”
In this spirit, we ask you to remember this holiday season that peace begins at home. The best way to end domestic and sexual violence is to stop it before it starts — through prevention programs that take aim at the root causes of gender violence in our society. At Blackburn Center, we are fully committed to primary prevention efforts — but we cannot do it alone. Will you join us in ensuring that #peacebeginsathome this holiday season?
Of course, there are many ways that you can fight against gender violence — such as by donating to or volunteering for Blackburn Center — but true change can often start right at home. First and foremost, if you perpetrate violence of any kind in your home — commit to stopping it by seeking therapy or other forms of help. You can also look inward to see how your own attitudes and actions may perpetrate violence — and how they may influence others in your life. Lead by example — showing others in your home how to communicate with respect and without violence. If you want to take your leadership a step further, you can join our Men As Allies or Future Advocates of Blackburn (FAB) groups to give back right here in Westmoreland County. You can also become a conscious consumer of media — by refusing to watch, purchase, or view media that degrades women, you will help to foster a culture of respect for women that will push back against harmful stereotypes. Learning about different types of abuse, can help you to be more aware of warning signs and symptoms of abuse. Being educated about types of abuse may also help you to talk to your kids about these issues, with help from the free downloads available here. Finally, if you or someone you love needs help, please do not hesitate to call us at 724-836-1122 or 1-888-832-2272. Our hotline is open 24/7, is free and confidential, and can be anonymous. We offer a number of services (free of charge) to victims of all types of violence or crime throughout Westmoreland County.