Thirteen years ago I had an epiphany. I saw an advertisement for A Woman’s Place (AWP) volunteers and knew instantly that I must do this, and I did. I became a volunteer, then an employee advocate, and when the agency’s Legal Assistance Program emerged I became the first paralegal.
As I reflect on the approaching day to fight violence against women marked by activists as November 25th over 30 years ago, I realize that my ephipany coincided with the United Nations General Assembly designation of November 25th as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Everyone associated with AWP understands that gender-based violence affects us all. It destroys families, weakens the fabric of our society, and takes a heavy toll on our communities and our economy. Take these effects and magnify it ad infinitum to grasp the global atrocities against women, including rape, domestic violence and other forms of violence.
Our legal team works case by case, day by day, to eliminate domestic violence, to effect and improve laws, to educate the community. But I pause when I hear an acquaintance or even a friend comment that he or she was surprised to learn that DV exists in our community, in our area of the world. But it does, every day, in Bucks County, PA, in the U.S. and in every part of the world.
I hope you will take a moment to reflect on it’s significance, and how this international day of recognition includes all of us, our community, and the world.