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Saturday, April 18: Walk in Her Shoes to Help Victims of Domestic Violence

April 15, 2015

dv child drawingChances are, a family you know has been wounded by domestic violence.  DV is equal opportunity and non-discriminatory. It rips through families across all demographic groups: the old and young, rich and poor, the nameless and famous; and is present in just about every ethnic group. In 1996, the FBI reported that 30% of all female murder victims were killed by a husband or boyfriend. Although the majority of DV victims are women, men are also victimized by abusive spouses and lovers, both heterosexual and homosexual.

Domestic violence is the crime no one wants to talk about. Its victims – the abused along with family members who witness abuse –  are filled with both fear and humiliation. Victims typically feel that they somehow deserved the emotional, psychological or physical battering they received. They are bound to their abusers – wife, husband, parent, chlld, lover – by loyalty, love, law, and/or economic dependency. Their abusers routinely keep them silenced by threats of more violence against themselves and their children, parents, or other loved ones.

A 1991 survey sponsored by the Commonwealth Fund estimated that one in every three women in the U.S. experiences physical or sexual abuse by a husband or boyfriend at least once in her life. The American Psychological Association reported in 1996 that 40-60% of men who abuse women also abuse children.

DV is the crime that keeps on giving. Children who grow up witnessing and experiencing violence in the home are more likely to engage in aggression and violence themselves. Battered children often become batterers when they grow up.

child i see the violence

Shelby County has the highest incidence of domestic violence in the state. Domestic assaults comprise roughly 10 percent of all incident reports filed with the Memphis Police Department. MPD’s most recent data (2012) show over 850 DV reports monthly; children were present in the home in 80% of those cases. Domestic violence complaints may include threatening, harassing and obscene phone calls; stalking; simple and aggravated assault; attempted assault; intimidation; verbal abuse; elder abuse; child abuse; theft and malicious damage to personal property of an abused person; violation of protective orders; kidnapping; and homicide. Tennessee’s 1997 law defining domestic violence is broad based. It applies not only to intimate partners or former partners, but also to roommates, dating partners, and relatives. Assault cases involving siblings also fall under domestic violence statutes. When the 1997 law was enacted, reported DV incidents increased by 24 percent in the following year.

There is no quick cure for domestic violence. Like other cultural evils of the 21st century, it is complex and multi-Domestic-Abusedimensional. We are, however, learning more about how to break the silence that prevents victims from coming forward. Organizations in every state  provide safe havens, counseling, encouragement and other resources to help victims and their families.

The more that women captive in DV relationships know

  • that they are not alone,
  • about the resources available to them,
  • that they can extricate themselves from what seems to be an unescapable situation,

the more DV crimes will be reported, litigated, and the perpetrators incarcerated.

Gregory M. Jones is the founder of Walking In Her Shoes, a national organization dedicated to ending the cycle of domestic violence, child abuse and sexual abuse.  Walking In Her Shoes  encourages national dialogue about DV and connects victims of DV to resources in their states.  Gregory founded  Walking In Her Shoes in May 2011, one month after his cousin Tasha Veney was murdered at a day care center by the father of her children. The organization sponsors awareness events in cities across the country. Donations go to help DV victims and their families, often including burial expenses.

Walking in Her Shoes event.

Walking in Her Shoes event.

This Saturday,  April 18, 2015, Gregory Jones and Walking in Her Shoes come to Memphis. Sponsored by Tammy Gaitor Miller of Butterfly Evolution, the free three-hour event (10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.) includes a mini-conference and awareness walk. The four speakers have known DV first hand and now work to support other DV victims, prevent DV, and educate the public.

  • LaShanta Rudd is an author, speaker, founder of Serving In Christ Outreach Ministry, whose programs include Hope and Glory Women’s Shelter.
  • Gregory Williamson is a barber, entrepreneur, ordained minister, speaker, and co-founder of Circle of Life Transformation Center. The Center works to help DV ex-felons re-enter society as responsible, productive citizens,  and mentors young men at risk for violent crimes.
  • Ginger E. Lay of Atlanta is an entrepreneur, speaker and advocate against domestic violence.
  • DeSanta Page of Memphis is a speaker and advocate against domestic violence.

The event will be held at Caritas Village, 2509 Harvard St. (near Sam Cooper Blvd. and Hollywood). Join us in speaking out for those who fear to raise their voices against domestic violence.

walking in her shoes flyer

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