ONE Thing Everyone Can Do to Help End Domestic Violence
From the Domestic Violence Awareness Project’s #1Thing Campaign
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. You may wonder, I am not in an abusive relationship and I don’t know anyone who is, there is nothing I can do.
- This is probably not true! Many people feel trapped in unhealthy relationships and may hide it from those close to them out of fear, judgement, shame, among other reasons.
- We can all do something to work towards an end to violence! Each person’s efforts can cause a ripple effect and create real change in a community.
So, what is ONE Thing you can do this month? How can we even go beyond awareness, move towards intervening, and better yet, preventing violence.
I can do ONE Thing for myself:
- Set standards and boundaries for yourself – know your worth and that you deserve safe and supportive relationships
- Talk to someone you can trust, whether a friend, family member, or professional
- Create a safety plan for yourself and your family in case of an emergency
I can do ONE Thing for my friends and family:
- Support those that you know who are in unhealthy relationships – keep in contact, ask (instead of telling) them what you can do to help, offer to help them create a safety plan (LINK TO BLOG 4)
- Say things like: “I believe you”, “thank you for telling me”, “this is not your fault”, “I’m so sorry that happened to you”
- Reach out for help if you feel unsafe or are just not the right person to get involved. Confide in a trusted adult, suggest someone closer to the problem step up, offer to go with them to seek help
I can do ONE Thing for others:
- Intervene, or step up when you hear or see something that makes you uneasy. You can do this by directly calling out the behavior, making up an excuse to separate those involved, even talking to someone afterwards about how their actions are harmful. Be creative in your approach, while remembering your own safety (LINK TO BLOG 3)
- Use your voice – correct misconceptions or dismissive comments about domestic violence ex) ‘they could just leave the relationship if it is that bad’ – well actually, it can be dangerous to leave an abusive relationship and we can’t pretend to know what they’re going through
- What power do you have? Stand up for someone of a different race, gender identity, ability than you. They may not feel comfortable to stand up for themselves if they do not hold power in the situation
I can do ONE Thing in my everyday life:
- Model healthy behaviors, especially when around kids. Try using I-statements, active listening, assertive rather than aggressive language, avoid swearing, name calling, or threats (LINK TO BLOG 2)
- Trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t
- If you are comfortable, share your story. Your experiences with domestic violence and learning from it can help to empower others and show them that they are not alone
I can do ONE Thing for my kids or kids that I work with:
- Talk to them about relationships and safety (not just the girls!)
- What do they want in a relationship? Offer some ideas about that you want and deserve from a relationship/ partner
- What do their friends’ relationships look like? Ever see or hear anything that seems unsafe?
- Remind them that it is never okay for someone to disrespect or harm them, especially if it is intentional and repeated
- Also, it is never okay to disrespect someone else or cause harm to them, even one time
As you can see, there are a variety of ways that we can all get involved in ending domestic violence, ultimately making our families, schools, and communities safer. Learn more about this campaign at https://www.dvawareness.org/1thing
Want to see more like this on your feed? Feel free to Like and Follow the social media pages linked below from Signature’s Educators! Use these hashtags on social media throughout October: #1Thing #UnaCosa #DVAM #DVAM2021 #ThisIsDV #EndDV #KnowYourWorth
If you are in need of support or are looking for counseling options in Northeast Ohio, check out www.SignatureHealthInc.org Signature Health’s Family Planning division also offers free training and education on healthy relationships and violence prevention for schools, workplaces, and community forums. To learn more, email Lisa.Huendorf@SHINC.org and check out @RelationshipsIF on Facebook and Twitter or @RelationshipsInFocus on Instagram!