Examining how women can heal from domestic violence and preview of our upcoming conference in Long Beach, Calif.
e’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback on the article in our last issue that focuses on how men who are abusive can transform themselves. If you missed it, check out the Fall 2006 newsletter on our web site www.idvaac.org. It’s the front-page article.
This edition features an equally important article on women and the process of healing from domestic violence from a victim’s standpoint. Research indicates that four crucial components are key for women’s healing: the support of community, including family and friends, but ideally a larger circle; connecting with other survivors and sharing stories; access to counseling, via battered women’s shelter counselors and therapists; and a cultural and/or spiritual grounding, or belonging to something larger than oneself. And as this and other articles in this issue point out, advocating for changes that help others has healing effects.
The cover article of this issue also addresses women’s safety, which must remain paramount during the healing process.
DV interferes with community’s capacity to care for itself
This issue also is dedicated to the notion that we must develop a common agenda with our community partners to end domestic violence in the African-American community.
To do this, our partners need to be educated about the role domestic violence plays in other issues undermining our community: HIV and AIDS, gangs, teen dating violence, the absence fathers from families, prison re-entry, and poverty.
Creating a common agenda for change is the focus of our March 19-20 conference in Long Beach, Calif. (See the page 7 of this newsletter for more details.) Our overall objective is to strengthen families and communities. We want to look at the Civil Rights movement, which was strongest during the 1950s-70s and the Domestic Violence movement, which for the most part has been in progress since the early ’80s.
Both of these movements involve human rights issues that intersect with race, class and gender. However, the movements themselves have not intersected. We want to take this opportunity to look at what can be learned from the Civil Rights movement and reflect on how social justice is defined. Ultimately, we hope to make a pledge that participants can take back to their communities. We hope that pledge will be a commitment to change.
March 19-20 conference in Long Beach features national experts
The keynote address at this year’s conference will feature Dr. Gail Wyatt, professor of psychiatry and associate director of the UCLA AIDS Institute, on grassroots initiatives across the nation that are igniting change in African-American communities.
Our conference will feature panels on Grass Roots Organizing and the Civil Rights Movement, Re- Examining Efforts to Address Domestic Violence (to learn from past successes and mistakes) and a look at other Community Mobilization Models that have been successful in stimulating change.
We’re inviting experts with a variety of backgrounds to help us consider what we can learn from the last 30 years. Activist and former boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter and Dr. Beth Richie, professor of criminal justice and women’s studies at the University of Illinois – Chicago, will oversee our closing ceremonies.
Your presence at this conference will help us create a commitment to the kind of collaboration that will be required in the Domestic Violence movement to get the impressive results our Civil Rights leaders achieved.