Domestic Violence is often seen as a woman’s issue. It’s a social problem which effects every single one of us, unless you live on an island alone. A society which often glorifies violence in entertainment by showing women as either innocent or overly sexualized objects who often enjoy being hurt, and also promoting gender division by inundating each of us with ideals of “masculine” and “feminine” is a society that allows domestic violence to happen. Until sexism and racism are eradicated, domestic violence will continue. Domestic violence, then affects all of us.
Because we have this belief, here at FVPC we rely on male and female volunteers to support our mission. Women are not the only victims of domestic violence nor are they the only ones qualified to help victims and do the much needed prevention work that we do in the schools and community. We asked a few of our male volunteers why they do this work and they told us!
One of our male volunteers, Luis knows first hand that domestic violence is more than a woman’s issue. He, along with his mother and siblings experienced violence at the hands of their abuser. After healing from this abuse, Luis is now dedicated to helping domestic violence victims. He believes that as long as one person is a victim of domestic violence, than we are all victims.
Another one of our volunteers, Pete, says, “I work with victims of domestic violence because all of the misconceptions and stigmas surrounding the issue that make it extremely difficult for people to get help. I also want to set an example for other males, so that they can get involved. Domestic violence work is important because no one deserves to be abused. Anyone is susceptible to being abused and I want to be able to help anyone in need.”
As Cole, another one of our volunteers points out, domestic violence is often minimized in public. As a volunteer, he seeks “to be available for those who may not know there is help.” When we work together as a community, then we make domestic violence more visible and can take steps to stop it.
We think Cole is absolutely right! Domestic violence is a community issue, requiring a community response. We offer services to people of all races, classes, religions, ethnic groups, sexual orientations and gender identities. And it is that same variety of people that we want to help us help others.
If you have time and agree with us that domestic violence is a community issue that needs a community response, then I encourage you to join our spring volunteer training session.