I could start out with statistics on domestic violence to kick-start this month as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
But really, the most important numbers are
I understand that domestic violence is one of those issues that can stir up quite some debate. Honestly, this issue was one of the main reasons why I attended law school, and yet one of my best friends from school---who is arguably one of the most caring and thoughtful people I have ever known--- has straight up told me that she just doesn't understand why victims of domestic violence just don't leave their batterers.
Without getting into the seriously ridiculously high statistics of the homicide rate of victims within 24 hours of leaving their batterer, or discussing the successful isolation tactics of the batterer, often resulting in financial dependence, or the resulting dependence for the livelihood and provisions for children involved, or any number of possible reasons why a victim is unable to leave his or her situation ---
The proper question is: if you or a friend, family member, co-worker, acquaintance or someone off the street were to ask you for help, do you know where you/they can turn? To build a safety plan, to discuss options, to just talk?
1-800-799-SAFE --- that's the national hotline for domestic violence. Please remember that DV isn't just comprised of actions that can land someone in the hospital (or worse), but can be anything from pushing or slapping; throwing and/or destroying objects; being overly possessive and jealous, manifesting in constant phone calls or texts or interference at work; or belittling comments that affect one's actions, like ordering meals or how one dresses. Not to mention psychological, financial, emotional, and any number of acts, like those listed here.
There's a lot of DV resources out there -- but just this one string of numbers could make a difference.
It may not be an easy road to travel when you're seeking help, either for yourself or for your friend, loved one, or whomever you're assisting. But I just have a simple request: that you keep your head up, be patient, and don't lose hope.
And the title of this post? The song by Savage Garden, "Two Beds and a Coffee Machine" -- there are a handful of good songs out there that offer good support or demonstrate the courage of a survivor. But, well, the illustrations in this particular video are so well-done, so clean and simple. [And okay, I'm a bit biased towards Savage Garden cuz of their song Truly, Madly Deeply.]
So, eyes, ears, and hearts open, ladies. And thanks for listening to me this morning.