I am working with Blue Shield of California Foundation on a sponsored campaign to spread awareness of an important issue that affects our community. How can we all #BeTheSolution?
What is it about taboo topics that people are afraid to talk about? Are we afraid to be judged? Do we want to keep our negative experiences a secret for some reason? There’s a serious and real situation that happens in many close relationships, and it’s time that we bring awareness and speak out about it.
The recent situation involving a professional football player and his wife has people talking about it, but only as of late. 5 years before that, in 2009, there was wide spread discussion when Chris Brown and Rihanna had an altercation. Why aren’t we discussing the truths about domestic violence that happen to normal people every day?
Fortunately, I can say that I have never been a victim of domestic violence so I can’t personally speak to the reasons why someone would keep quiet about it. But what if? What if that heated argument turned into a physical altercation? I know how enraged I have gotten during disagreements in a relationship, what if I decided to take a baseball bat to his head? What if he decided he’d throw a punch out of anger and wrath?
Ever been in a violent situation?
Domestic violence affects everyone, whether you’ve been a victim or not. If you have, I am sure that you’ve been physically in pain and emotionally drained, it hurts to know someone so close to you could do this. Even if you haven’t experienced this, families, friends, personal relationships and the entire community need to come together, realize the issue, raise community wide awareness and talk about it.
Blue Shield of California Foundation is committed to raising awareness and combating domestic violence through their Be The Solution campaign. The purpose of the initiative is to spread the message that domestic violence is everyone’s issue to tackle, all of the time, and not just those who are actively experiencing or perpetrating it, and not just when an incident occurs. When everyone talks about it, everyone learns how to handle it, and hopefully teaches our youth not to engage themselves. Here are a few pointers on how you can help from Blue Shield of California Foundation:
- Speak up! Raise the volume on the issue of domestic violence and help amplify the voice of survivors, like Dr. Debra Bentson, who shares her story – “That night, I didn’t tell, but I remember…”
- If you see something, say something. Call a shelter, call the police, or tell a faith leader, mentor or counselor. Domestic violence is not a private issue. It’s a public epidemic and we all have a responsibility to act.
- Be a role model. Just because you’re male, doesn’t mean you’re part of the problem. It also doesn’t mean you’re not part of the solution. Get involved in, or start your own effort to be a role model for young men in your community.
- Be an advocate. Apply to be a promotora or work in your community to connect with women and girls at risk for domestic violence or identify and help survivors in rural and hard-to-reach areas.
- Donate. Whether it’s your time or your treasure, find a local domestic violence organization and help support survivors and families in your area.
Be The Solution
I encourage you all to be role models and share your stories, you never know who you may give the courage to say something about their own situation. Women – speak out about it, tell your experiences. Make sure young women know what they should stand for in a relationship and what they should not. Men – be a role model for boys and make it clear that domestic violence is never okay. Show them how to lead positive conflict resolution practices. Domestic violence is a tough, emotional issue, we have to get involved, show that we care and #BeTheSolution to the problem. Teaching our younger generation how to handle conflict in relationships is a great way to curve the issue early.
“One in four women will be a victim of domestic violence in her lifetime”
But it’s not just a female issue, men can be victims too. Visit Blue Shield of California Foundation’s Be The Solution Domestic Violence resource page, it’s happening out there, people, and we need to come together to make a difference! Show your support by uploading a photo of your choice to the Blue Shield California Foundation’s Facebook page with the hashtag #BeTheSolution, or share on Twitter or Instagram. Let’s work to end domestic violence!
How can you help with the issue and #BeTheSolution?