Friday, January 8, 2016

What if?

As I reflect on 2016 and the New Year lying before us - my mind can't help but wander.  Looking back over another year, I dream about all the "what ifs?"  I thought I'd take a moment to share some of those "What If" thoughts-
  • What if our community really and truly did not tolerate domestic violence in any shape or form?
  • What if those who commit the crime of domestic violence are punished to the fullest extent of the law?
  • What if we our community is really able to take notice at the significant amount of increases in domestic violence cases that are taken to trial?
  • What if victims could stand their ground, without fear, without retaliation, without regret as they take those courageous steps to taking back control of their own lives?
  • What if everyone felt safe to disagree with the ones they love, having no fear when they choose to agree to disagree?
  • What if our community made a determined effort to educate themselves on the facts of domestic violence?
  • What if citizens of Macon County who are called to a jury on a domestic violence case could be well prepared by understanding the dynamics that surround domestic violence victims?
  • What if children no longer have to live in fear or instability due to the abusive environment they've been raised in?
  • What if we did NOT pick up our local newspaper almost every single day and read about yet another domestic violence incident?
  • What if men, who are also at times victims of domestic violence, felt comfortable enough to approach our program requesting services without feeling shamed or embarrassed?
  • What if our local schools REQUIRED that teen dating violence/healthy relationships/bullying be taught in our schools, beginning in grade school and continuing through high school?
  • What if those who had the extra time, would step forward, and make a conscious decision to complete the required domestic violence training in order to be a program volunteer?
  • What if our program had an ample number of committed volunteers to cover any and all holidays so that staff can have that time off?
  • What if the State of IL would balance their budget B but NOT on the backs of victims?
  • What if all our key officials, especially those in power B  held perpetrators of domestic violence accountable for their behavior each and every time B and these key officials genuinely understood the full effects and cause that domestic violence has on victims? What if all clergy from all religious backgrounds came together as a whole to take a stand against domestic violence and intentionally and regularly spoke on this topic from their pulpits?

I could go on and on.   It's a New Year.  What steps will you take to take a stand against this intolerable crime of domestic violence?  Do any of the above "What Ifs" personally speak to you?  Do you want to do your part to help put an end to domestic violence OR  if you, or someone you know, needs support from an abusive relationship, please call our 24 hour hotline at 423.2238.  Help is available.

Teri Ducy, Program Director
Domestic Violence Program

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