Our Purple Challenge: How To Raise Awareness About Domestic Violence

#cafesanctuarypurplechallenge
Wear your purple proudly and post your pics tagged #cafesanctuarypurplechallenge

The face you see in the picture is the face of an abuse survivor. Tell me what you see when you look at my eyes. What do I see? 

  • Sadness. Domestic Violence is nothing to smile/laugh about. Or dismiss. Or trivialize. Or feel shameful for. Or hide. It’s a serious issue that happens every minute of every hour of every day of every week of every month of every year. When I was in my abusive situation, I learned that, by looking into the eyes of someone who suffers daily abuse…really looking, I can see the sadness that stems from the feeling of helplessness and hopelessness in that chaotic, stressful, dysfunctional situation. It’s the sort of sadness you notice when the smile is forced but the eyes tell everything. 
  • Strength. Although it may not feel like it, anyone who suffers abuse exhibits unimaginable strength. While people on the outside looking in may believe otherwise, they’re not aware of the lengths someone goes through to survive and {hopefully} keep everyone safe. Don’t judge. Don’t shake your head and believe it’s easy to get away. It’s not. Abuse victims are at an increased risk of escalated abuse AFTER they escape. Often, it’s the abuser controlling the finances as a way to keep his victim from leaving. There are also threats to other family members as a bargaining chip, making the victim feel like s/he needs to stay to protect those she loves. Anyone who experiences domestic abuse must be strong to survive such a situation.
  • Determination. Despite all else, a victim of abuse develops more determination over time, vowing to herself and her children that things will get better. Pain has a way of effecting the changes needed to make life better. I know because I’ve been there myself. I sat in my little room in the house I wanted to escape from, asking myself if I wanted to be there for another 6 months, year, 2 years, 5 years. I knew the answer, but I also knew that it would be up to me to change things. 
  • Understanding. When anyone reaches out to someone for help, they want that person to take them seriously. They want to know that there will be no judgment or trivialization. They want validation and solid offers for help. They don’t want to be discouraged from leaving because “all marriages have their problems which need to be worked out” or because “there’s no sign or evidence {from the outside} that anything’s wrong”. The worst thing that anyone can say to a victim of abuse is, “I think you’re just imagining things. S/he loves you! Why would s/he do anything to hurt you?” The truth is, the abuser will not show people on the outside what’s really going on because s/he wants everyone to doubt the victim. This is why we created Café Sanctuary ~ because we know what it’s like to reach out to someone and feel dismissed, due to “lack of evidence”. 
  • Compassion. What I went through was horrific. I questioned God and felt angry at Him for what I went through. I wouldn’t wish any of it upon my worst enemy. But I now understand why I had to experience it…to help others in the same situation. I have already helped others and I will everyone I can until I die. It’s my life’s purpose to do this. Of that, I’m convinced.

As part of our National Domestic Violence Awareness Month series, I invite you to participate in our #cafesanctuarypurplechallenge by posting your images {on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, etc.} of the things you’re doing to raise awareness of Domestic Violence. Purple nail polish? Show us. Do you have an item of purple clothing supporting your cause? We want to see that, too. Show us your fundraising activities and group selfies. You can do this as many times as you want. Share your stories with your images. Share this challenge with your friends and family. Share your images all across your social media and encourage others to do the same. Be sure to use the tag #cafesanctuarypurplechallenge so we can see! Share our social media, blog link, and this post link with everyone you know. The more we talk about Domestic Violence, the better chance we have of educating our future generations about this issue. 

Thanks for listening.

As always, we’re here to help.

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