On Wednesday, July 8th, Molly Maid of Chapel Hill presents the third annual Martha’s Day at DSI Comedy!
Can’t make the event? Buy raffle tickets for a chance to win awesome prizes including a NEW Kindle Paperwhite or make a donation in honor of victims of domestic violence and the work being done by Compass Center in our community.
Martha’s Day is named and held in honor of Martha Pearson, a victim of domestic violence. Martha’s Day is hosted by Laura Morrison, Board Vice Chair, as a way of raising awareness on one of our many important services. Your participation in Martha’s Day will make a huge difference in the lives of people in our community touched by domestic violence – an issue that affects thousands of women, men and children. Compass Center serves more than 1,000 victims of domestic violence, in addition to the many self-sufficiency and adolescent empowerment programming we offer throughout the community.
So, why is Martha’s Day important? Why is it important to come together as a community to address domestic violence? At the most basic level, awareness-raising for domestic violence is important because domestic violence is a serious problem. According to the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence, there have been 19 domestic violence-related homicides in North Carolina since January 2013. There were 63 homicides in our state in 2012. From July 2013 to June 2014, Compass Center served 979 victims of domestic violence. Why, when people are losing their lives and going through life-changing crisis, are we not engaging in more community dialogue on domestic violence?
On another level, awareness-raising is important because domestic violence is not just a “woman’s” problem or a “family” problem. It is a societal problem. Domestic violence doesn’t hurt its victims in a vacuum. Those victims are our friends; they are our family. They are our teachers, our co-workers, our employers. Domestic violence – and violence in general – has such a ripple effect; it touches so many people in so many different ways, and because we tend to avoid talking about it, we’re often unaware of how our community is shaped by violence. And that’s why these awareness-raising events and efforts are vital: it’s up to us as a community to start having difficult conversations and to start fixing a problem that ultimately touches all of us.
Finally, we need to raise awareness about domestic violence because there are still so many misconceptions about domestic and intimate partner violence. We have certainly come a long way in how we’ve approached and dealt with domestic violence, but we haven’t come far enough. The most obnoxious and infuriating thing I face when talking to others about domestic violence is “victim blaming.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a variation of, “Well, she should have left him.” People who utter those words usually have no idea what they are saying, but to those folks, I offer a reality check. Often for abused women, leaving the abuser is far, far more dangerous than staying with the abuser.