Posted by: joshjasper | April 13, 2009

Sleep Now In The Fire

Is it possible to be too close to your work?  So close that you become overly protective of what you are trying to accomplish that when those efforts are challenged even in the slightest, it is met with anger and disappointment.

In the past 24, there have been multiple instances of people reinforcing sexist behaviors and minimizing the violence that exists in our community, and have done so with me being present, like I would not object to such behavior.  To begin, why direct these examples toward me?  Do you not understand what I do?  Are sexist jokes and comments intended to degrade women stated to me so that I will challenge that thinking, or does this person/people truly not understand my work and think that it is okay?  Is that seriously possible?  I understand that most people do not see the whole picture.  Most people do not see the spectrum of violence that begins with sexist jokes/degrading comments and evolves to the raping of women and children.  It is much easier to distance yourself from that reality and convince yourself that those things happen to people that put themselves in bad situations; it’s their fault.  It’s a hell of a lot harder to accept the fact that you might in fact be a part of the problem.

We currently have a waiting list of 13 people requesting counseling services that fully understand this problem….I am angry.

The disappointment I feel comes with the reality of my job.  I was fortunate today to meet with 2 fantastic graduate students from the University of Dubuque to discuss the organizational structure of the Riverview Center.  I was asked what I do as the CEO and I found myself talking about how I often am in the community presenting about our services and encouraging community members to support our mission.  I now am thinking about the enormous amount of energy put into selling our mission to the community.  Is rape really that tough of a sell in our community?  You would think 1 brochure outlining the services we provide and maybe mentioning the pathetic amount of violence that occurs every single day would be enough to motivate every single person to do something; anything.  How many times do I need to share the stories of children being raped in the homes of their “loved ones”, women being raped after being drugged in the local bar, or a man being raped by another man?

Shouldn’t 1 story be enough?….I am disappointed.



  1. Feelings of anger and disappointment are feelings that many in our field have felt but you are not alone, not in your efforts or your feelings, and what makes those emotions manageable is support, and that sir, is something you will always have. Like you said, the TH “got it” and more people will with our effort and unfailing passion.

  2. “I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.”
    -James Baldwin

    I keep this quote in my cell phone and carry it with me always. When the haters start to get to me, I just read it and feel sympathy for the people who still need to heal and protect their wounds with anger and negativity. I hope it helps. Remember, we have an open door policy here at Riverview, so feel free to talk to us about what’s going on. The door opens both ways 🙂

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