the norm

I grew up in a culture where the use of violence was the norm. I saw the violence on the faces of my friends at school and heard the screams from the woman beaten by her prince. My aunts talk about the kind of violence my own grandmother was capable of. I cannot blame her because it was just how people dealt with their anger and a way to discipline their kids

I live in the United States and still hear the same stories. I still watch the news and hear about the horrible way a woman was killed by her husband. I still listen to children talk about the horrible acts they are victims of and those silence voices not able to speak up because they are no longer with us. I live in a country where there are resources, there’s “justice” but yet this happens every single day.

I work for an agency that provides services for victims of domestic and sexual violence. In the last week we’ve done more than 10 media interviews on the issue but yet the lead story is likely one of that deals with rape or family violence.  I wonder, are we doing enough? what else can we do so that a mother of 4 is not choked and then burned by her husband? What can we do?

It is very sad and disappointing to hear these stories because it makes me feel like we could have done something to prevent it. What could have we done differently?

Change doesn’t happen in agencies but rather in communities and in the homes of families. Change happens when someone decides to end the cycle of violence. Change happens when we decide not to accept the norm and speak up against it. Change can only happens if we stand up and do something about it- not just talk.  Change is only possible if choose to accept it.

I refuse to give in to the norm I grew up in because it is not okay. If the norm hurts us then why accept it? I cannot change the world but I can make changes in my own life, and hopefully in the lives of my own children. I refuse to accept the norm.


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