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What Would You Do?

It’s the $5.8 billion question.

You can read the graphic. Every year the cost of intimate partner violence exceeds $5.8 billion. Domestic violence is costing us, as a community, more than $5.8 billion per year.

Have I said it enough? What a waste!

It begs the question, though. What would you do with $5.8 billion? If we weren’t wasting it on violence, what else could we do with it?

I always enjoy a good Google search, so I asked Google the question. “What can I buy with $5.8 billion?” Did you know that General Dynamics just landed a $5.8 billion deal for armored fighting vehicles? So, I could buy some armored fighting vehicles… although I think I’d like to find a non-violent way to repurpose the $5.8 billion.

A couple of months ago, Wisconsin Energy Corporation bought Integrys Energy Group for approximately $5.8 billion. Investing the money in energy might not be a bad idea.

Earlier this year, Anheuser-Busch was looking to repurchase Oriental Brewery for $5.8 billion. This might be a worthwhile consideration, since they were projecting growth in South Korean beer sales over the coming years.

Personally, spending $5.8 billion is somewhat baffling. I think of the immediate things – college tuition for my daughters and nieces, pay off my car, ensure my family is debt free, some home repairs, maybe a glorious vacation through Italy (if I can get away from work). I suspect, after all of that, I’d still have some change leftover to spend.

What if we invested $5.8 billion in victim and prevention services? What would A Woman’s Place look like with a $5.8 billion investment? What would Bucks County look like if every victim had a safe home to live in, job skills, education, resources to support themselves and their children, quality childcare, convenient transportation, healthy food, family wellness plans, and hope for the future?

I don’t believe we need to wait for the $5.8 billion influx. If our vision is a community where all individuals are safe and can flourish, what would you do to achieve it? Would you volunteer an hour of your time each month, week, or day? Would you walk one mile for flourishing? Would you run a 5K? Would you invite a guest speaker to share information for an hour? Would you accompany a victim to court? Would you answer a hotline? Would you join a book club? Would you hug someone? Would you clean out your closets and donate your gently used clothing? Would you write a check for $5, $10,$50, $100, $1,000, or $10,000?

I believe that the flourishing community we envision is within our grasp. We just need to take action – and actually do what we would do to achieve it.

(Of course, it would be kinda fun to get $5.8 billion and try to spend it!)

Ifeoma U. Aduba
Executive Director

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