domestic violence is everyone’s issue to tackle so #bethesolution

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:

Blue Shield of California #bethesolution campaign to end domestic violence

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:

#bethesolution to end domestic abuse

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.

Be the solution lily

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.

[pinit]

2 Comments

  1. 1
    Abigail Burd says:

    Thank you for tackling this difficult topic, Mary. You have started a great list. No additions needed, but I’d like to add that I try to teach my daughters from infancy what their boundaries are and how they have the right to define them. I start with infants by explaining out loud why I am taking off their clothes, i.e., “Mama is taking off your pants so that I can change your diaper. Your diaper is wet and I am going to put on a dry diaper. There, doesn’t that feel better?”

    It sounds basic, but it explains that I don’t have the right to do anything without reason. Once they are over a year or so, I ask their permission before doing so.

    Talk to your kids! That’s the most important part.

    • Mary says:

      You’re so right, Abigail! Talking to our kids frequently and honestly is the most important thing we can do. I am learning that as my girls get older and practicing it as much as possible.

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