Two statistics always catch me off guard. It does not seem possible that:
~ One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.
~ An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner every year.
While I do not know the particular trauma of domestic violence, I do know the trauma of assault. Several years before I came to
Yet, like many survivors of violence, I continue to deal with the post-traumatic effects of the assault. Several months may go by without a triggering event, but then something can happen that causes me to re-experience the trauma as if it were happening for the first time. I don’t write this so you will feel sorry for me. That is not my intention at all. My intention is to underscore the effects of violence and affirm that it can happen to anyone. I would not be surprised if someone reading this letter has had a similar experience.
While I completely support Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I wonder if every month shouldn’t be “Violence Awareness Month”? As Christians we need to take a stand against the many ways people perpetrate violence against each other. The effects of violence are long lasting and shape not just ourselves but our neighborhoods, our communities, and our world.
A favorite verse of mine reads:
For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of a sound mind.
~ 2 Timothy 1:7
Violence begets fear, but love is more powerful than fear. Let us not be afraid to stand up against violence in our homes, in our communities and in our world. Let us use our best thinking and our best loving, along with the power of the Holy Spirit, to spread peace.