Posted by: joshjasper | March 24, 2011

Come on…

This is not easy work. No one will ever tell you differently. Women, men, and children are physically, sexually, and emotionally abused every minute of every single day. The stories we hear day in and day out tear at your soul. No one should EVER have to experience such pain that is realized by the people we serve. NO ONE. We work tirelessly to ensure survivors of violence receive the highest quality of services in the hopes that one day those wounds will have healed.

Each day we ask for the opportunity to provide community members with tangible, concrete skills to end violence as we know it because we recognize we cannot do this work alone. It would be ridiculous to think otherwise. Often times after a presentation individuals express interest in volunteering; interest in making a difference. Other times though, ugly truths surface that can make this work feel truly daunting.

I have found myself in meetings with community members that have negatively contributed to the work that must be done. They belong to businesses that reject the reality of the violence in our lives, denying the presence of such damaging behavior in their respective environments for fear that acceptance of the truth will tarnish their image. This institutional denial only ensures that violence will not only continue to exist, but will flourish under their command.

You cannot turn a blind eye to our reality. The truth is that we live in an incredibly violent world and your reality is no different from mine. Your silence and passive behavior is only consenting to further abuse. At some point, you must take a stand. And I can tell you that when you take that stand, your image will not be in question. Your decision to act with integrity will be celebrated and you and your environment will be better for it.

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