October is Domestic Violence Awareness

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Women Against Abuse, Inc. and Verizon launched honored the month by launching its 2018 iPledge Campaign. Holding a press conference and resource fair on Oct. 3 in the City Hall courtyard, the program included testimonies from youth impacted by domestic violence, remarks from Mayor Jim Kenney and a pledge to take a stand against the issue.

“What we are trying to do is educate the general public so when they see domestic violence, they can take a stand – give the hotline number, call police or give a simple affirmation and we want people to know they can come forward,” said Jeannine L. Lisitski, Women Against Abuse Executive Director. “They don’t have to be ashamed of this. There is help. We don’t want people to suffer in silence because it has such a detrimental impact on families and the community.”domestic violence

Lisitski added that addressing domestic violence is also a solution to violence in the street because “violence is original in the home. If we want to get at everything we see in the street, all this violence, we need to go to the root.”

Each year, the organization focuses on a different issue under domestic violence and this campaign focused on teen dating violence.

College student Trevor Schmanek spoke about abuse his mom endured at the hands of his father when he was 6 years old and said the experience of witnessing that is the reason he is taking the pledge.

“I pledge to talk about this and be more direct with my friends about abusive relationships,” he said. “I pledge to raise my voice as a male survivor and say that love deserves respect. We must interrupt the cycle of domestic violence with education.”

Ja-quia Smith, a senior at CB school, where Women Against Abuse teaches students about domestic violence, also took the pledge. She said she hasn’t personally experienced domestic violence but that she knows friends and family who have.
“My friend was in a real bad relationship. She couldn’t go anywhere. If her boyfriend saw her outside, he would smack her in front of all these people and drag her,” recalled Smith. “I had a talk with her one day and I told her ‘at the end of the day you might love somebody, but that might person might not love you how you love them. If they love you, they not going to put their hands on you.”

Join the iPledge movement by visiting Women Against Abuse. The program asks men and women to sign the pledge, currently 4,500 signatures strong, and to download the iPledge Toolkit to take action against domestic violence.

 

Source: The Philadelphia Tribune