by Sheila N. Johnson
This isn't a blog post; it's a call to action.
Domestic violence advocacy is hard work. It can be gut-wrenching: Women are murdered. Children’s arms are broken. Abused men lose respect. Teens drop out of high school. This work is a constant uphill battle and sometimes it’s hard to avoid burnout. Lately, I find myself getting more and more frustrated. The source of my frustration is you. It’s seems that my biggest challenge lately is to get you to support us. No kidding.
We struggle to get your attention. The proverbial “we” here is neither my agency nor my sister agencies nor the state coalition. We is the movement to end domestic violence. People shy away from domestic violence in Rhode Island and in California and everywhere in between. Yet, we know you care. I know this because everywhere I go someone says how horrible it is that a woman must go through "something like that" or someone tells me that his sister went through it or a friend is going through it right now or it happened to me. As soon as I say I work in domestic violence, people look at me with pride. An elderly woman once told me I was an angel from heaven. A woman from Rome once grabbed my face in both hands and kissed me on each cheek and said thank you for doing this for women. I'm no hero. I am just doing my job.
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