Posted by: joshjasper | October 13, 2009

Say again?

While interviewing a couple of different job applicants today I was reminded how much effort we have made at Riverview to raise awareness of our work through radio, print, and television advertising.  It’s always nice to hear that people are paying attention to our messaging.  Later in the day I got to thinking about this increased awareness and how it has significantly increased the amount of people we have provided services to over the past year.  We are fortunate to be in a position to serve those in need, but this pattern is something I believe we can all learn from.

As I was concluding my presentation the other day in Michell, SD , a person commented on how refreshing it was to be talking about the issue of men’s violence against women.  She felt like she had finally been given a space to talk about something that was near to her heart that too often was silenced by so many.  I believe it is this comment that speaks to what we have effectively started to do with our awareness campaign.  (We have only begun, and we have much to do.)  Simply by using the word rape in a radio commercial begins to break down the walls for those affected by this heinous crime.  Just talking about this issue proves to empower those that have expereinced sexual abuse, and to let them know that they are not alone. The message to a perpetrator is equally as strong.  Talking about this issue sends a message that we as a community are paying attention, and that this type of behavior will not be tolerated. 

It’s so simple.

I feel like the most effective violence prevention strategy our entire community could adopt is to simply begin the conversation.  Begin talking about men’s violence against women.  Share with someone how you feel about the fact that 1 in 3 women are sexually abused before the age of 18.  Let your friends know about Riverview Center and how they can help.  After reading the newspaper, start a conversation about all of the violence you noticed in so many of the articles.  You need not but sift through a couple of pages of any given paper to find countless acts of violence towards others. 

By keeping men’s violence against women in the shadows, the violence flourishes.  We must remove this darkness and spotlight this very serious  issue at every given opportunity.

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