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.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The catalyst of cause to action

An old friend told me she was happy I had a girl so as to be more sensitive to women’s issues.

That’s probably true, although I think it’s more about changing our minds and deciding to have a child. And hearing that my abusive birth father was dying of lung cancer.

I’ve lived the majority of my life abhorring violence, particularly violence against women and children; that’s what I grew up with. Unfortunately I participated in my own share of emotional abuse back in the day and am not proud of those unsettling moments.

However, I never made abuse of any kind my personal cause. It was just something I didn’t like, shaking my head at the tragedies reported by the media, maybe vocalizing my distaste to my wife, a family member or a friend.

It’s different now. Having a child is the catalyst of cause to action. I hold my daughter and I remember what my mother, sister and me went through all those years ago. I recall the pain I caused others all those years ago. That’s why I participated in The Human Race and will continue to do more.

We all have a choice and sometimes all we need is a catalyst. People can change for the better. Cycles of violence can be broken. We can be personally responsible.

Last month I listened to a Bill Moyer interview with Marta Peláez, president and CEO of Family Violence Prevention Services, Inc.

The interview was quite informative and disturbing as well, but one thing in particular that caught my ear was the discussion of her intervention services for the abusers themselves.

You don’t hear much about that, how some organizations work with the abusers to get them to understand they have a choice, that they can walk away from hitting and hurting, resolve their anger issues in other ways.

I was happy to hear that the Obama administration and Congress approved a funding package increases support for key programs that help to prevent domestic violence and support victimsnearly $70 million in increases for effective programs related to domestic violence, a tremendous accomplishment to help end against domestic violence. The bill includes more than $15 million in increases for the Violence Against Women Act, a $45 million increase for the Victims of Crime Act, and a $5.1 million increase for the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act. Following last year's cuts, the bill restores funding levels to those of previous years.

Thank God there are these resources. We all have choices. People can change for the better. Cycles of violence can be broken. We can be personally responsible.

What’s your catalyst of cause to action?

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