Tuesday, November 2, 2010

It's Not Over Till It's Over!

November 1 marks the end of the national Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Does that mean the end to education and awareness about intimate partner violence? Not by a long shot.

Now, three years have passed since Stacy Peterson went missing, wife of serial offender, Bolingbrook Police Sgt. Drew Peterson , accused of murdering his other victim, Kathleen Savio. These predators have a "catch me if you can" personality. What about Susan Powell who vanished and is likely never going too see the light of day, joining the rank and file of others, Lisa Stebic, Vensus Stewart, Renee Pernice, Sandra Travis, Star Boomer;  a list that goes on and on.

I’ve always had a problem designating certain months to bring awareness to an issue that is as commonplace as Cheerios for breakfast. Why do I feel that way? Because so much time and funding goes into special events, talk shows, and news reports at a time when expenses are cut to the bone for anyone advocating in this field. Not only is the dollar at the bottom line, but the fact that most people feel if they participate in an event, a walk , a candlelight vigil, that they’ve done their part and forget about the next day; at a time when volunteers are stretched to the max.

Intimate Partner Violence is round the clock and round the calendar and we should all be sensitive to the great need across the country for change. It’s no longer enough to pin on a purple ribbon and light a candle. In the time it took to pin on the ribbon and light the candle, lives have been lost because someone wasn’t vigilant and let the ball down.

Now, more than ever, as intimate partner murder rates are rising, it’s time pull out the stops and get the job done. No longer is it enough for those who are drawing paychecks within the domestic violence “industry” to write memos, blog posts and press releases. It’s time to push the limits and go beyond your job description and start thinking outside of the box. We can no longer afford to clock out at five and think that all will be well until we clock back in the next morning.

What more can you do, you might ask? Stand up for changes in the way victims are handled, whether it be in your agency, police department, court room , hospital or lawyer’s office. If we do what we’ve always done, we will get the same results, and that means more violence gone unaided, more victims of homicides, and more children left without mothers or fathers.

The Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit is one such new tool which has been proven to empower victims and save lives. It’s been proven to change an attitude of a victim and give them hope that they may move forward and away from the violent situation knowing that their wishes will be carried out should the unthinkable happen. It’s been proven that the Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit will stand up in court against Crawford vs Washington rulings, allowing a victim’s testimony to heard and seen, just like a will, should they be silenced.
Take it upon yourself today to get this information into the hands of everyone who comes in contact with a victim. Go the extra mile; it could be that one time you gave extra care and extra time beyond what’s expected that will matter to someone, and save their life. Our fight to end intimate partner violence isn't over till it's dealt with in a manner that's effective.

(Susan Murphy Milano, is with the Institute for Relational Harm Reduction & Public Psychopathy Education for more information visit http://www.saferelationships.com/ and is the author of the new book "Time's Up A Guide on How to Leave and Survive Abusive and Stalking Relationships available for purchase at the Institute, Amazon.com and where ever books are sold. 

She is the host of Time's Up on http://www.herewomentalk.com/ and she is a regular contributor to the nationally syndicated show with Dr. Laurie Roth on http://www.therothshow.com/)

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