Supporting DVA_ domestic violence awareness

This post is a late coming, but one that I had to give a ton of thought.
I was recently recognized by the local Shelter for Victims of Domestic Violence, Refuge House for my support of the shelter. The recognition came as a total shock, and I was and am still humbled by the recognition. I share not for congratulatory wishes but in the hopes that I will in someway inspire others to give back in their own way to causes important to them.

 I had worked a full day and rushed across town to the Alpha Chi Omega chapter house to support the ladies at their Annual Pizza Pie With Alpha Chi Event raising funds for the shelter. Following typically protocol at such events, the ladies silenced the room to thank guests for coming and invited the Refuge House Director of Development to speak. When she asked that I join her at the front of the room, I truly went thinking she would ask me to hold something while she presented. the thought that she would be presenting to me never crossed my mind. She started talking and explaining the support they had received, and still nothing, and then she said my name- I was shocked, humbled and honored...

I share this for several reasons.
1. I at times wonder if my volunteering makes a difference. Volunteering can be an added item to an already busy calendar, but the answer is a simple YES. If you follow me on Instagram, you might of noticed the #hashtag #EveryDifferenceMakesADifference I committed to using this hashtag each time I volunteered in 2015, thus I can always look back and over time see the magnitude of the impact of volunteering. 

2. Be the Change you Wish to See in the World. As someone who works with and volunteers with collegians on a regular basis, I feel it is important to be a role model for them. My mom was and continues to be this role model for me. As I have grown my friend, co-workers and fellow Alpha Chi Omega Sisters continue to inspire me. For collegians to see me giving back is important. I strive to never ask others to do something I wouldn't do myself. And I am humbled that the Chapter, friends, and family continually not only support my volunteering efforts, but join them... 

3. This is an issue I BELIEVE IN.  When looking to volunteer it is important to pick a cause you are passionate about, a cause you are committed to, your passion with shine thru in all you do. (or at least that is the goal) As a volunteer who works with collegiate women. I know the statistics of Domestic Violence all to much. (The following statistics were taken from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 2007)
  • 53% of victims of domestic violence were abused by a current or former boyfriend or girlfriend.
  • 21% of college students report having experienced dating violence by a current partner.  32% experienced dating violence by a pervious partner.
  • 13% of college women report they were forced to have sex by a dating partner.
  • Among college students who were sexually assaulted, 35% of attempted rapes occurred on dates, 22% of threatened rapes occurred on dates, and 12% of completed rapes occurred on dates.
  • 60% of acquaintance rapes on college campuses occur in casual or steady dating relationships.
  • Over 13% of college women report they have been stalked.  Of these, 42% were stalked by a boyfriend or ex-boyfriend.
  • Nearly one third of college students report having physically assaulted a dating partner in the previous 12 months (Break the Cycle, Inc., 2005).
  • As many as one quarter of female students experience sexual assault over the course of their college career (Break the Cycle, Inc., 2005).
  • Approximately 90% of victims of sexual assault on college campuses know their attacker (Break the Cycle, Inc., 2005).
I can't read those statistics and be a bystander.
College students face a variety of obstacles in accessing services that may assist them in escaping an abusive relationship, or an an abusive situation. With that being said I strive to be a resource and to provide resources both for the shelter, and for the collegians I come in contact with.
  • Students may feel isolated from their personal support networks- I strive to be that support
  • Students may fear their parents finding out- I strive to give them the support/resources their parents would want to provide them, and strive to give them the strength to tell their parents when appropriate
  • students cannot afford supportive service. I connect with with campus resources
  • students may not define their experience as abusive- I strive to educate on healthy relationships, and to be a role model in my own relationships. 
  • students feel trapped by the social networks- I strive to provide networking opportunities
In my opinion nothing I do is "groundbreaking" or "new" and until now I didn't view anything I did as "noteworthy" I looked at the things I did as my duty. I know that to the world I may just be one person, but I have learned that to that one person I may be the world..

I share to thank Lindsey and the Refuge House for recognizing my efforts. 
I share in hopes of inspiring others to recognize that #EveryDifferenceMakesADifferece
I share in hope of inspiring others to follow their passion
I share to shed light on Domestic Violence
I share in hopes of touching someone and that someone touching someone and so on, and together we can effect change! 

If you want to learn more about the local Refuge House click here
If you are are a victim of Domestic Violence and need help visit here 

Safety Alert: Computer use can be monitored and is impossible to completely clear. If you are afraid your internet usage might be monitored, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233 or TTY 1−800−787−3224 instead of clicking the links above

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