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In the midst of it all, we are still here fighting the good fight. The fight against domestic violence warrants much attention across many sectors. This fight gains greater momentum annually due to the increased media coverage, homicides, shelter stays, police reports, court orders and the list goes on. The fight’s intensity is shown throughout the month of October. MCADV, community members and local shelter programs throughout the state gather in numbers to bring awareness in October, National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. We stretch our thinking and resources to bring awareness to the community-at- large about domestic violence and available community resources.
Domestic violence awareness and prevention begins with attempts to change the attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, environments and policies that contribute to violence. This entails cultivating mind sets free of abuse, promoting healthy and safe relationships and empowering our communities to not be complacent concerning domestic violence. Can this be accomplished? Yes, with awareness activities, education and campaigns. MCADV is continuing to partner with organizations throughout the state to make significant strides in these areas.
As a Coalition, we are collaborating with various groups and organizations to provide education and awareness. The use of social media and other media forums allow us to spread the word going beyond the normal entities. These are key components of our awareness and outreach efforts. Getting the word out is vital but education proves even greater. We will continue to focus our efforts on honing in on issues that impact domestic violence victims. The issues and needs are vast, however, as a coalition we are committed to the cause. The work continues across party lines, races, ethnicities, and systems of all types.
As the number for services, referrals, education and outreach are increasing, the need for financial resources increases. This is the case with most issues, however, the intersectionality of domestic violence is clear. Meaning, the number of life domains and societal issues in which domestic violence crosses is alarming. As social activist, Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, states it is the study of what Crenshaw contends are overlapping or intersecting social identities and related systems of oppression, domination, or discrimination. Intersectionality is the idea that multiple identities intersect to create a whole that is different from the component identities. How fitting is this concerning domestic violence. It crosses race, gender, ethnicity, educational attainment, socioeconomic status, religious affiliation and much more. Domestic violence exhibits oppression within the relationship as a result of an inherent system of power and control.
As a statewide organization taxed with many responsibilities, the first is to the victims and survivors. Looking at the intersections and interconnectedness of the issues, there are many places to focus. Awareness starts and ends with each one of us. There are designated months for various topics, however, the incidents of domestic violence occur every second. We have much work to do. Remember, “Together, We Have the Strength.”
Wendy Mahoney Executive Director

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