Last week, the nation honored both children and volunteers. This week, we turn our eyes toward stewardship and what it means to take care of the earth and our environment. All of these fit together like gears in an engine. When we neglect one of these, everything suffers. A neglected child often turns to crime and comes to harm, harms others, or harms its surroundings. Without volunteers, much of the good done in the world would not happen. The neglected children saved from the streets, the nature trails we hike, the homes built by Habitat for Humanity, and so on. This is what volunteers do. And, of course, the earth is what sustains us. So, each has its place. Each is important. Each affects the other.
Yet, society tends to forget how everything relates to one another, that when a section of society is falling apart, the rest will eventually follow. We can only prop it for so long. What we allow to happen, whether right or wrong, is a reflection of our society as a whole and what it deems as important.
One particular area that society has ignored for a long time is domestic violence. While it may seem like only the family in question is affected, that is an illusion. Just as children, volunteers and stewardship are related, so is our tolerance of domestic violence and the state of our society. That any portion of society deems domestic violence okay shows where we have failed as a whole. This doesn’t mean it has to stay this way. It gives us a starting point. We must focus on our final destination as far as what we want to happen with this issue. For me, I’d like to see it eradicated completely.
So, how does domestic violence affect society as a whole? Here are some statistics:
* Eighty-five percent of all domestic violence victims are women
* Seventy-four percent of the populace knows someone who has been abused. That’s nearly 3 out of 4 people who know someone.
* One in every four women have experienced some form of it in their lifetime.
* Children exposed to it, estimated any where from 3.3 - 15.5 million a year just in the US alone, are more likely to have health issues such as obesity, heart disease and cancer, to participate in substance abuse, crime, and/or date an abusive partner. (It’s estimated that world wide some 275 million children are exposed to domestic violence every year.)
* Thirty percent of all women murders were by their intimate partners (5% for men).
* Domestic violence costs exceed $5.8 billion dollars each year. $4.1 billion is for medical costs alone. $1.8 billion are for missed work and lower job productivity.
* Unknown costs for the children, their physical and mental health.
What can we do?
* It is shown that 60-70% of those who seek assistance from shelters will stay safe for at least three to twelves months after leaving the abusive partner. This gives them a good chance to escape it completely.
* Educate our children. Teach them what the signs of an abuser are and what to do if they find themselves in that situation. (www.helpguide.org)
* Support battered women shelters, whether donating money, time, clothes, expertise, and so on. Call them to find out what you can do.
* You can also purchase any of our charity volumes, Dreams & Desires, volumes 1-3, with all the net proceeds benefiting specified women shelters throughout the nation. (Volume three benefits St. Bernard’s Battered Women’s Shelter in Louisiana.) All of the stories, editing, cover art, and proofreading were donated to make this possible. The books are in both print and ebook format and can purchased at our site or at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. (More money goes to the shelters if purchased directly from Freya’s Bower.)
Links to our books:
Everything is interconnected. If we work together, we can make a difference and change our world.
Links about domestic violence and statistics: