Advocates are people who have devoted their lives to working with domestic violence victims. Some have gone to college, got their degrees, devoted themselves to helping victims or survivors and their friends and families. They have my unmeasurable gratitude and respect. To choose to go into a field that is so emotionally and mentally exhausting takes a very special person. I’d like to right here and now say, THANK YOU!
Then there are the people who, because of what they have witnessed, have decided to make it their life’s work. They may or may not have been directly affected by the abuse. It had such a profound effect on them that they decided to do something about it.
And there are the people who have lived in an abusive household, they’ve experienced spousal abuse between their parents or they were a child abuse victim themselves. Or, as in my case, they were never exposed to any type of domestic violence until they entered what they thought was a safe relationship, but it wasn’t.
Whatever the reason, an advocate of domestic violence awareness is someone who stands up for voiceless victims, speaks for them, helps them in any way possible and comforts them. This is not an easy vocation and definitely not a 9-5 job. This is not a job you leave at the office when you go home. The things you deal with daily can’t be unseen or unheard.
Being a domestic violence awareness advocate isn’t easy. DV is not like cancer or ALS where a disease is a monster preying on an innocent victim. No, with domestic violence, it’s another person that is the monster and it happens in the privacy of another’s home. People don’t want to get involved in others’ dirty laundry.
But if we don’t listen to the silent cries of the victim. If we don’t speak for those who are too frightened to speak, the bad guy wins. We’ve been making progress slowly, but we need more people to educate themselves and speak out for victims. Will you join your voice with ours?
Whether you are a victim, a survivor or someone who has never experienced domestic violence, there are many ways to get involved and become an advocate for preventing domestic abuse. Contact me if you have any questions about getting involved.