Today is the “International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women”. Various female activists from woman rights groups, politics, help centers and the police campaigned today at our town’s market place to raise money for our county’s women’s shelter and to raise awareness for the problem of domestic abuse and violence. I had the day off, so I joined them to help out and to show my support for the cause, because it is such an important one. The state governement cut back the funding for women’s shelters years ago, the city municipalities are often reluctant to raise their share of the funding, most of the employees live with one-year-contracts, because it’s not clear if there is money to pay them in the next year… the whole situation is just rather frustrating.
While I was out there this morning I thought about how lucky I am to never have been the victim of domestic or any other kind of violence. I can’t imagine to ever stay in an relationship that’s turned out to be an abusive one. To let that happen I’d have to be totally emotionally dependent on that guy and I can’t really see that (being totally emotionally dependent) happening to me. What makes me lucky though, is, that I was raised to have enough self-respect and a sense of self-worth to know that I don’t have to endure anything like that. That I deserve better than being beaten up and abused.
But most of all I’m lucky, because I have family and friends I could turn to. A safe place I could flee to. Brothers who would protect me. We might not be as close as other siblings, but I’m sure that if I’d call anyone of my brothers and and tell him my boyfriend had beaten the crap out of me, my brothers wouldn’t hesitate to come and get me out of there immediately and bring me back to my Mom’s.
But how many women lack that kind of safety net, because their parents or siblings just don’t care or they don’t have a family anymore or they live too far away. Who weren’t raised to be indepentent and self-reliant women. Who don’t know where to ask for help, especially in a society which turns to be more and more egoistic and indivdual and where people tend to care more about themselves and not about others?
So, yes, I’m lucky and (not just in the spirit of the Thanksgiving Holiday) I’m really grateful for that today….
Congratulations on your safety net. I’d like to think of me the same way. That I would immediately go, maybe call someone for help, but never return. I can’t imagine being so dependent on someone. I mean, I need my space, I just can’t understand couples who are doing everything together. So I’m quite sure, I’m not in danger of getting in such a situation. But you’ll never know. So I’m hoping that I’ld be really strong enough to leave or to call for help. I know my parents would come all the way through Germany (700km) and get me if I call them. And I know that apart of some of my closest friends one of the oldest friends of my mom lives nearby, so I guess my safety net is as good as yours, even without three brothers. But it’s a shame on which important fields budgets were cut.
Until this Wednesday I never really thought about the fortunate circumstances I live in with having this safety net around me. It’s such an important and precious thing to have.