October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This month – and every month – your voice matters. At REACH, we believe that engaging communities to promote healthy relationships involves conversations – speaking up, and listening too.
Our attitudes and behaviors are built on social norms which are shaped by what we see, hear, learn, and do; with family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues; in music, on TV, social media, and the playground; in our places of faith, work, and school. Changing the attitudes and behaviors that support and perpetuate domestic violence requires changing norms by speaking up and speaking out about injustice, inequity, and inaction. Your voice matters.
There is so much in the news today – on every platform – that it can all start to sound like a steady buzz with nothing to offer. Yet if we listen intentionally, we will hear voices that have historically been drowned out, disempowered – and we just might learn something: ways of sharing, ways of building community, ways of being in relationship with one another. If you have privilege that gives you meaningful access to systems of power and influence, your voice can be used to create space and lift up the voices of those that have historically been silenced and marginalized. If you have lived experience that informs how our world could meet the needs of more people and do it better, your voice matters.
We can hold ourselves and others accountable for our words and actions. We can use our voices to accept responsibility for creating change. When we take responsibility for the “little things,” we are saying that we care about our impact in this world that we share. The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence is asking each of us to think of #1Thing we can do – that one thing might be speaking up when someone uses racist, sexist or homophobic language. That one thing might be moving back during a meeting or conversation in order to create space for other voices to be heard.
Your voice matters. And we need your voice. Our actions are informed by the stories and the voices of the individuals and communities we serve. We need your voice to help us achieve a world free of violence. Please join your voice with ours this month and every month.
Join REACH in raising awareness, engaging communities, and fostering safety and support for survivors. We are all in this together and we believe change is possible.
Together we will reach beyond domestic violence.