Domestic Violence is a Health Crisis
May 30, 2016
Recently I spoke to a group of donors celebrating Radiant Futuresâ€™s 40th Anniversary of serving survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking. I shared the stories of the most severe and prolonged public health crisis of our time, Domestic Violence. 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men are victims. That means that each of us not only know someone affected WE KNOW A VICTIM.
In May while vacationing in Prague, I was reminded of how pervasive this health crisis is. Â One evening returning from dinner I notice a couple in an â€œargument.â€Â As my husband and I looked on, she shirked, he picked her up tears rolling down her cheeks. I looked for a police officer but the train arrived. And they disappeared.
Exiting at our stop notice the couple. She was running and he was yelling. He backs her into a corner. My husband yells for him to stop and I run to the station attendant. Police. He walks away and I ask in English forgetting my surroundings. Are you alright? She smiles and walks quickly. We watch for a few moments. He has disappeared and she is slowly walking away.
My husband wonders how could this occur in public? I sayâ€¦itâ€™s not uncommon. I was tearing up. What could we do?
Thinking backâ€¦Iâ€™m filled with emotion. And sad that I, a member of the movement to end domestic violence, minimized the scene.
Iâ€™ve worked in this field in some way for years. I started my studies in social welfare policy working with a family court judge and in a domestic violence shelter. It was my first glimpse at the power and strength of survivors like my Prague Survivor. I often think of those whose destiny I was not privy to:Â Jennifer and her five year old son Rex, who showed, up one night. She was black and blue. The next morning they were gone.Â The night a man followed me to my car after my shift asking me if I worked in the safe house if I knew where his daughter was.Â These stories mimic others, but each is his or hers alone. I often wonder where they are, how did their story play out and where would they be today if shelters did not existâ€¦
Imagine where we could beâ€¦.if only we TOOK ACTION.
Take action visit Radiant Futures.org/Get Involved!
Gigi Tsontos, LCSW MPA,Â Executive Director of Womenâ€™s Transitional Living Center, Inc firstname.lastname@example.org 714-992-1939×106