The holidays aren’t the happiest of times for all people. Forced confinement during the depths of winter also takes it toll. Along with a rise in suicides often comes a rise in domestic violence—not that domestic violence has a season, which is why we must all work to end it.
A few weeks ago, I was asked by my friend Carol Arnott of the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence to make a stand against the problem. During the group’s 15th anniversary celebration, The Purple Ribbon Event at the Chase Center on the Riverfront, 15 of us from all walks of life—the business and legal worlds, government, law enforcement, faith communities, other nonprofits and more—agreed to help.
It was enlightening to hear Attorney General Beau Biden and New Castle County Executive Chris Coons speak about the breadth of the problem and efforts to address it. It was an inspiration to hear Lynn Rosenthal, a White House adviser, discuss how attitudes about violence have changed since Joe Biden’s landmark Violence Against Women Act was passed in 1994.
But the greatest inspiration came from the DCADV itself, whose director, Carol Post, the staff, and supporters such as Maria Picazo, have worked ceaselessly to help victims of violence and to unite the agencies and people who can help them.
So I am asking you, on behalf of DCADV, to help stop domestic violence. How?
• Recognize that anyone can be a victim. Domestic violence knows no age, socioeconomic status, racial or cultural background. Women, children and the elderly are all susceptible.
• Don’t be a bystander. If you suspect someone has been abused or assaulted, ask tactfully if you can help. If you know someone is abusing another or is disrespectful to others in general, urge him or her to seek help. If you feel uncomfortable doing so, call a domestic violence program.
• Encourage boys and girls in the behaviors and attitudes that mature into strong, respectful relationships and healthy self-esteem. Promote respect for all people. Be a model of good behavior in your family. Teach peace at home, and reject violence everywhere.
• Examine your own attitudes and behaviors. Don’t be afraid to make a healthy change, no matter how large or small.
That’s my humble plea. If you need help or would like to help others, contact the DCADV at 658-2958 or www.dcadv.org. Thank you for your help.