When asked to be a part of a campaign sponsored by Blue Shield of California Foundation about domestic violence my first instinct was to turn it down. First of all, it’s a pretty heavy topic for the holidays and secondly, it’s one that I, thankfully, don’t have a lot of firsthand experience with.
But then I read this line:
And then brutal the images from “the elevator” flashed through my mind.
As did this video from the streets of New York in which a woman captures the catcalls she received in 10 hours.
Then I remembered stories from several friends and bloggers who have shared their stories of domestic and sexual abuse.
And if all of that wasn’t enough, I was then flooded by the memory of my neighbor who was strangled to death on Thanksgiving Eve three years ago by her estranged boyfriend.
To clinch the deal, so to speak, I looked over to my two daughters, who were snuggling on the couch and I promptly responded to the request with a resounding, YES, COUNT ME IN.
I immediately began wondering how I, as a mother of two daughters, can be part of the solution and here is what I came up with:
Practice and teach kindness. Love and kindness beget love and kindness and a little of both goes a long way.
Practice non-violent methods of discipline. I spanked my kids a handful of times when they were very young, until I realized that spanking was sending the wrong message to them. Not only is it teaching them that violence is the answer, it is also encouraging them to tolerate it.
Watch out for signs of abuse with family, friends and even neighbors/acquaintances and if you suspect something might be amiss, offer to help rather than turning a blind eye.
Encourage self-esteem and self-respect. Encouraging my girls in every aspect of their lives plus introducing them to sports and dance is my way of instilling in them a sense of self-worth and independence that will hopefully give them strength to stand up to violence if they are ever faced with it.
Now it’s your turn to #BeTheSolution. Check out the “Throw the Flag” initiative on the Blue Shield of California Foundation website and add your own photo to their #BeTheSolution photo page on Facebook.
This is a sponsored post on behalf of Blue Shield of California Foundation and One2One Network. All opinions are my own.