Domestic and sexual violence, stalking, harassment, and other forms of abuse and crime can affect anyone — and any family. After more than 40 years working with victims of all types of violence, we know that no one is immune from these types of crimes — no matter their age, income, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
These types of violence remain prevalent in our society. The statistics are sobering. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that nearly 1 in 5 women and 1 in 38 men have experienced attempted rape or a completed rape in their lifetimes. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 1 in 7 women and 1 in 25 men have been injured by an intimate partner. 1 in 7 women and 1 in 18 men have been stalked by an intimate partner to the point that they were fearful or believed that they or someone close to them would be hurt or killed. These crimes and this type of abuse happens every single day, in communities across the country.
How, then, can we stop a problem that is so big and so widespread? The answer lies in our own homes. The actions that we take as individuals — and the choices that we make for our families — can make a difference.
Here are some simple things that YOU can do so that peace begins at home in 2020 and beyond:
Encourage boys and men to express a full range of emotions
Become a conscious consumer of media (LINK) — don’t watch, read, or listen to media that degrades women
Speak up when you hear someone make a degrading or offensive comment about women
If you engage in violence of any kind, commit to stopping — and to seeking help
Talk to your kids about consent and their right to bodily autonomy
Do not engage in stereotypes about how boys or girls should behave
Be a healthy role model for your kids when it comes to how you talk and your own relationships — including with them!
If you want to take additional steps, contact us about scheduling a training session for your organization, business or community group. We also offer educational programs for schools throughout Westmoreland County, including our innovative Building Empathy program for younger children.
If you need help, don’t hesitate to call us at 724-836-1122 or 1-888-832-2272. Our hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week — including on holidays. It is offered at no cost to you, is always confidential, and can be anonymous.
Today and every day, remember that peace begins at home. If you have an idea of how you can work to change society from your own home, let us know in the comments!