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On Teaching and Learning Respect

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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.

 

Mark’s Day Book
  • Sarah Willoughby, here’s a shout out that has been a long time coming. It was great to see you at the annual Kent County Tourism celebration at Dover Downs Hotel & Conference Center. And it was a great pleasure to catch up with my old boss Andy West of the Delaware State News. It was nice to chat with Scott Thomas of Southern Delaware Tourism, and Kent County economic development director Dan Wolfensberger always makes me laugh. Thanks to Robin Coventry and Cindy Small for the invitation. Till next year…
     
  • Many thanks to Jack Riddle of the Nanticoke Memorial board for inviting us, again, to the annual Nanticoke Tributes Dinner at Heritage Shores in Bridgeville. It was a pleasure to meet his wife, Susan, as well as the Rev. Israel Figueroa and his wife. The hospital and Rev. Figueroa’s Iglesia de Dios Maranatha both do extraordinary work.
     
  • Shameless Biden watching: It turns out the veep was seated 10 feet away, with daughter Ashley, a board member, during the YWCA’s Celebration 2009 at the DuPont Country Club. But the real joy was bumping into DT alum and YW volunteer Francesca Serafin after many years. The YWCA has great cause to celebrate its good work. I implore you to check it out.
     
  • The fact that you’ll read in this issue about Carla Markell’s efforts to increase community engagement has nothing to do with an impromptu conversation at Janssen’s, I assure you. Just a usual lunch adventure.

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