2020 has been a year like no other. For most of this year, we have been living through the COVID-19 global pandemic, staying at home as much as possible and taking steps to avoid community spread, such as wearing masks. Over 300,000 Americans have died of COVID-19, and millions have been sickened, lost their jobs, or otherwise been affected by the pandemic.
Being at home most of the time has raised new challenges for Americans. Parents have struggled to juggle work with remote school, kids have had to adapt to ever-changing schedules and expectations, and millions of Americans faced isolation and loneliness. For those in abusive relationships, stay-at-home orders have kept them stuck in a house with someone who is abusing them.
2020 has also helped us to grow. This year has taught us how to be resilient, how to adapt to change, and even how to use new technology to connect with each other. It has also taught us an incredibly important lesson: at the end of the day, peace begins at home.
Looking at problems at a national or global scale can feel overwhelming. But when we focus on what we can do as individuals, in our own homes, it is much easier to see how we can make a difference.
If you want peace to begin in your home, there are a number of things that you can do: Talk to your kids about important topics, like online safety, consent, bodily autonomy, and having healthy relationships.
Don’t watch, read, or listen to media that degrades women.
Encourage the boys and men in your life to express a full range of emotion.
If you hear someone say something offensive about women or another marginalized group, say something.
Avoid stereotypes about how boys or girls should behave. If your son wants to help you bake sourdough bread or your daughter wants to do home improvement projects with you, encourage them to do so!
Be a healthy role model for the kids in your life, both in how you talk and your relationships with other people (including them).
If you engage in any type of violence, make a commitment to stop and to seek help.
Watch Blackburn Center’s Empathy series with your kids.
You can also take small steps that will make a big difference in your community, such as scheduling a training and education program for your school or organization (virtual options available). You can also donate to support our work, either through a financial donation or purchasing something from our Amazon wish list for our emergency shelter. Finally, you can sign up to be a volunteer. Training sessions will take place over Zoom this spring.
As always, if you need help, we are here for you. Our hotline is available 24 hours a day, is free of charge, and is confidential. Reach out anytime at 1-888-832-2272.