If I were to watch my 2-year old child walk into deep water and I did nothing to rescue him, if I did not take action, I would be liable for his death. Those around me would be shocked and appalled at my silence and inaction.
Yet there is silence going on in our communities that is contributing to abuse and even death, but few are noticing. Approximately three women are killed every day in the United States due to domestic violence. People are being abused and murdered in our local neighborhoods, rich ones and poor ones.
Our friends, neighbors, relatives and associates are not immune to this threat. Often abuse and murder can be prevented if victims have someone who will support them. Unfortunately, most will not support those in need.
Our churches, governments and family systems have failed at protecting society from the epidemic of domestic violence. Those who remain silent will have to answer some day. Pastors and church leaders, preach against domestic violence. Do not remain silent or twist God’s Word to excuse abuse; domestic violence is in direct conflict with the character of Jesus.
Elected officials, rule with compassion and justice. Do not turn a blind eye to those who are in danger. Neighbors, intervene and report suspected abuse. If you do nothing for fear of being called nosy, people may die; life is more precious than privacy.
Parents, teach your children to respect the rights of others and that it is not acceptable for one person to force their will on another person. Teachers and childcare workers, report abuse immediately. Your voice may save a life.
Men, speak out when victimization of women is trivialized or joked about. Teach young boys to respect women by doing so yourselves.
Women, set an example of what it means to be an individual free of abuse and teach young girls to be independent and confident. If you don’t know how, ask for help.
One of the most dangerous calls a law enforcement officer makes is when responding to a domestic violence situation. Citizens can lessen this danger by getting involved before situations become lethal.
Spreading awareness is key to the prevention of abuse. If you need help in learning how to spread awareness, call your local domestic violence shelter.
We, as friends, relatives, church members, neighbors and associates must provide resources to individuals who need to protect themselves and their children from violence. We have been silent long enough.
God forgive us for blaming victims and excusing abusers. We will have to answer for our silence.