Responsible parenting and leadership are a start. In between reaching for the sky (Toy Story rocks).

Screw the darkness. I prefer the lightness of Pop.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Rise from the ashes – A blaze of everyday glory

In the house where nobody laughs

And nobody sleeps

In the house where love lies dying

And the shadows creep

A little girl hides, shaking,

With her hands on her ears

Pushing back the tears, 'til the pain disappears

Mama says some ugly words

Daddy pounds the wall

They can fight about their little girl later

Right now they don't care at all

No matter what they say...

No matter what they say...

--Everyday Glory, Neil Peart (Rush)

It's time once again for Fatherhood Friday. Fatherhood Friday is hip place at for dads and moms to share stories, ideas, photos and movies with one topic in mind – fatherhood.

This week I'm back on a serious and somber topic: domestic violence. I wrote a few weeks ago about my own personal experiences in the light of the Rihanna-Chris Brown case.

As I read and watch the sad stories of struggling families losing their jobs and homes, I know the violence has escalated. One of the number one reasons couples fight is over finances, and even sadder, the children are part of that monetary equation – all to be used as punitive control by the abuser over the abused.

I know from my own experience growing up that my birth father was the sole breadwinner, which he pointed out many times before and after beating her, and it was painfully clear to my mom that we had no other means by which to flee – at least not until she found the strength and courage to do so without much economic means.

I found an article from AOL's BlackVoices titled Domestic Violence & Economic Abuse Increase as Economy Goes South that pulled some examples and stats together on this subject. Sadly the media isn't highlighting this enough.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline conducted a survey from November 12 to December 31 last year, asking nearly 8,000 callers about the connection between financial issues and the level of violence in their household:

"54% answered yes to the question, 'Has there been a change in your household's financial situation in the last year?'; and 64% also answered the second question affirmatively, which was, 'Do you believe the abusive behavior has increased in the past year?'," reports the survey.

Affirmative indeed.

The Allstate Foundation Domestic Violence Program says that economic abuse is a tactic used to control relationships and maintain power by preventing access to money and/or other financial resources. To combat economic abuse, the Allstate Foundation Domestic Violence Program has set up a website to provide resources, knowledge and skills to help victims.

Here are some economic abuse examples, via BlackVoices:

  • Controlling victims' paychecks and bank accounts, and determining how they spend money, where they work and what property they buy;
  • Using victims' credit cards without permission and destroying their credit rating;
  • Putting all financial contracts (lease, credit cards, utilities, etc) in a victim's name and then failing to make payments, destroying the victim's credit rating;
  • Forcing low-income victims or victims with disabilities to turn over government benefit payments;
  • Undermining victim's opportunities to become economically independent by not allowing the to work, forcing them to work in family businesses for little or no pay, or calling and harassing them in the workplace to such an extent that they lose their jobs;
  • Refusing to pay spousal or child support to a survivor who has left an abusive partner; and
  • Forcing a victim to cash in, sell, or sign over any financial assets or inheritance (e.g., bonds, stocks or property).

Not only did my birth father do some of these things, my abusive first step-father did some of this crap as well. It sickens me that men behave this way – that fathers behave this way.

Mothers are abused, maimed and killed all over the world by their spouses/mates. We should be outraged; this madness has to stop. I broke the cycle of violence in my family and my daughter will not grow up it that hell as my sister and I did.

I'm running The Human Race this year in support of a local Women's Crisis Support center. The Human Race is a nationwide community fundraising event for nonprofit organizations.

Annually, WCS~DdM provides approximately 1,300 crisis intervention services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Individual counseling services are provided to approximately 600 women, and support group sessions for over 200 women. Legal assistance is provided for over 450 women, over 100 restraining order applications are filed, and about 125 women are accompanied to court proceedings. The confidential emergency shelter provides nearly 2,000 shelter bed nights to women and children in imminent danger from domestic violence or sexual assault. Children's individual counseling sessions are provided for over 100 children, and an average of 25 children and youth attend group sessions each week. Prevention programs provide educational services, information and referrals to approximately 150 families.

Help me support Women's Crisis Support whose mission is to end domestic violence and sexual assault - Help those who need safe harbor and a new beginning.

Everyday people

Everyday shame

Everyday promise

Shot down in flames

Everyday sunrise

Another every story

Rise from the ashes--

A blaze of everyday glory


  1. WOW...all I can say is WOW. Powerful...thanks!

  2. There is no excuse for any type of violence or abuse. Keep fighting the good fight.

  3. great post-i'm sorry your mom and you and/or brothers/sisters had to go through that. i'm glad she found the courage to get out. some of the women who get abused seem to fall right back into that same pattern w the next guy she gets with because it's all she knows. i was once in a teen abusive relationship, and even though i left it after 6 mos of the first time i was hit, it should only take one time to be totally out of there. funny how they can get us feeling like it's what we deserved. have you seen the blog violence unsilenced? women are finally telling their stories so that other women can read them and see that there can be a way out.

  4. What about abuse for dads and Joeprahs post?

  5. Man, that was some serious stuff. Abuse should not be tolerated. This post was excellent--so many resources in one location. Touching and informative. Thanks

  6. Very powerful and honest post. Thank you for sharing. Domestic Violence should not be tolerated no matter what.

  7. Thank you everyone. Appreciate the comments. Let's keep fighting the good fight.

  8. I'm sorry it has a personal connection to you...but thank you for highlighting such an important topic. :)

  9. Kevin, much respect for breaking that cycle and being a great dad and husband.

    PBS & NPR have been doing some great reports. Bill Moyers had an informative interview with Marta Peláez, CEO of Family Violence Prevention Services, Inc. For a nation used to "solving" problems, the solutions to this problem are elusive, the wins small, the set-backs the norm...