October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

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Our sister organization at JFS Seattle posted this poem written by a client that reminds us all of the importance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The author illustrates the feelings of isolation and shame that sometimes prevents domestic violence victims from seeking help.

JFCS partners with several organizations which provide essential resources to survivors of abuse.

FaceIt aims to stop and prevent child abuse for all children in Jefferson County by 2023. Several FaceIt partners, including JFCS, currently work together to identity and implement proven solutions to prevent and end child abuse in our community.

The Center for Women and Families offers services to all survivors of intimate partner abuse such as emergency shelter, transitional housing, counseling and advocacy or sexual violence. The Center has nine locations across Kentucky and Indiana and can be reached 24 hours a day, 365 days a year through their toll-free crisis line: 1-844-BE-SAFE-1.

This poem illustrates how we can, instead, tell your loved ones, your neighbors, your congregants, your acquaintances: I am here for you, no matter what you decide. You are not alone. You do not deserve this. These simple yet powerful statements can mean everything.

You Have No Idea

For those of you who turned their head
Afraid to see the truth
The years of suffering and pain
You have no idea…

For those of you who closed their eyes
Blocking the ugly, the “inconvenient” from your view
You have no idea…

For those of you who failed to listen to
The cries for help in the darkest of times
You have no idea…

For those who chose to judge
To shake their heads in silent gesture of disgust
Or pity
You have no idea…

For those who gave up on their sister, their friend
Who turned the volume way down low so as not to hear
You have no idea…

To those who found a reason not to care
To reach out when the need was deep
You have no idea…

Perhaps you never will.

Or perhaps, just for a moment
You find you can
A Picture emerges
Of you
Open-hearted
Daring to care
Calling your friend,
Your sister, your neighbor
Listening to her speak
Giving your time
Hearing her story
Helping her heal…

Picture yourself
Just for a moment
Letting down your guard
Allowing the tears
Accepting the sadness
Acknowledging her pain

Picture this
Seeing it happen
A transformation of heart
There before you
A new reality emerges
The mirror reveals
A helping friend
A loving brother
A caring sister

A Truth unfolds
You now have an idea
You finally “get” it
You understand and feel
Compassion
Empathy
And you are finally
Ready to help

And for those who already were there
Who leant a caring ear
During those times the hope was fading
Who gave a shoulder to cry on
Advice from the heart
Who offered your love, most precious gift of all
Thank you.

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