Happy 2007

I have to start using the date, otherwise I will forget what year this is! I hope that everyone is having a safe and happy New Year’s.

To me New Year’s is a time for thinking about the old year, and reflecting on the new year to come. I guess that is how New Year’s resolutions came about.

For reflection, I began this blog 11 months ago. I have been very fortunate in that many people who have experience with domestic violence who have stopped by, left comments, joined discussions, sent me articles and contributed in a major way. There have also been survivors who have stopped by and joined their voices to tell how it felt and how it affected them and how it still affects them. And there are families and friends, heartbroken grieving families of both the suspects and the victims families. Their grief, their anger expressed here shows just how much domestic violence affects the other people who are surrounding the troubled relationships. They show the devastation the violence leaves behind.

Resolutions:  Health and body image are big ones. Behavior changes also come high. But I am going to suggest a new type of resolution.

Try to make your community a better place to live in. Find what community organizations are available in your community and what they need. Set yourself to contributing to solution to that need.

Of course my highest reccommendation would be to locate your local domestic violence agency and see how you could best contribute to them. But you could also find children’s organizations, senior citizen organizations or any number of other helping agencies. You could also get involved with your community government, to make sure that these helping agencies were not forgotten.

Most helping organizations have a need for cash, doesn’t everybody? But if that is a problem there are other ways you can help. Most accept donations of goods such as clothing,  books, daily supplies and etc. Some accept volunteers who are willing and able to contribute their time. Your local agencies can tell you what they need. Try to help them find a way to fullfill it.

Someday I hope to see stronger domestic violence laws, and a more educated response from law enforcement and the courts. But there are other things I also hope for. Someday I hope to see national support system set up for survivors of domestic violence. The type of system where survivors will be there to help and support new survivors or those still in the violent relationship.

I also hope someday to  see a national support system for families of domestic violence victims. For the families of those who did not make it out, the families who have relatives still in the violent situation, and the families of survivors. Because domestic violence hurts more than just the known victims, it hurts entire families and extended families.

If such organizations were to develop, than that would be a force that would ensure that new, stronger laws and more education would be developed. Simply because the numbers would be staggering, more attention would be paid.

My resolution? Well, for here I resolve to learn more about domestic violence. I resolve to keep putting what I learn out there, to try to reach more people. I resolve to pay more attention to the relationships around me, to be more alert to signs of abuse or controlling behaviors. And I resolve to reach out to my local community domestic violence agencies.

And I resolve to do better at committing a random act of kindness each and every day.