To the Editor,
I wore purple on October 19. This was requested in a recent article by Charlene Corson Selbee, “Won’t You Wear Purple on October 19?” In accord with Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I wore purple on many other days in October, with the expectation that it would raise awareness, because, yes, it can happen here. Often rural areas have more domestic violence because of the isolation: it’s easier to hide. Domestic Violence is about exerting power over someone else, and it shows up in many different ways: physical violence, sexual violence, threats, intimidation, and emotional or psychological abuse.
As the recent article pointed out, it’s often hard to understand why someone would stay in a situation where they feel controlled and powerless. That’s not the question, though. The question is, “How can I be supportive?” No passing judgment. No giving advice. The people being controlled need friends to listen so they can find their own clarity, strength and dignity.
The women’s shelter has extensive information about how to talk to or help someone who is experiencing abuse. They have resources for victims, both men and women. They conduct workshops to help those who recognize they have a tendency to be abusive. They have information about how to raise awareness in your community. An aware community can be a compassionate community.
For information, contact the women’s shelter at (507) 285-1010 or www.womens-shelter.org
I applaud the Fillmore County Journal for bringing this subject our from behind closed doors. It’s time to break the silence.