Talking about domestic violence is difficult and not pleasant. Throughout the years there have been many charities and institutions that address this problem and try to tackle it in the best way possible.
If we take a look at the numbers of domestic violence around the world, we can say that the effort has failed big time. However, if it wasn’t for those non-profits, charities and institutions that help people that are victims of some sort of domestic violence, maybe things would be worse.
In Santa Barbara, there is a charity who addresses just that problem. It is called DVS Domestic Violence Solutions and they are working towards helping victims of domestic violence in any way possible. They have help lines, experts, programs, volunteers programs, prevention programs, intervention services and they have an approach of challenging society’s views, traditions, beliefs and behaviors on domestic violence.
Let’s take a look at some of their motivations and reasons why they are doing this and how they are helping this problem get solved and viewed in very different ways.
DVS at its core understands that in Santa Barbara County everybody should be responsible for not encouraging any type of violence and domestic violence and not even tolerating it in any way, form or shape. The idea that they have is that in the Santa Barbara community interpersonal relationships, families, and all the community sees this problem as a direct issue that needs to be tackled and not managed with simple and soft strategies that only reinforce the old idea of common domestic disputes. Also, DVS wants to build communities that don’t support domestic violence attitudes and that people see themselves as part of the new ideas that simply don’t tolerate domestic violence, that replaces domestic violence with respect and equality and where dignity and hope will be given to people that have been affected by this type of violence so they can reach their full potential.
To fully address the problem they have 3 ways to tackle it:
- They provide shelters which are very safe and off the radar to women and children who have been victims of domestic violence in the Santa Barbara County.
- They provide emotional support and personal counseling to women who have been affected by domestic violence so they can regain self-confidence and develop their full potential in the future and be able to make important choices.
- They always play a leadership role within communities by educating the people around domestic violence issues, by doing networking with other groups that address social problems and by backing up and supporting women’s rights organizations.
As mentioned in the introduction, the battle against this issue sometimes seems like a lost one. DVS´s philosophy and their motivation to do such work relies on the fact that we live in a society which has unlimited resources, privileges, power, rewards and many of those things are juts distributed unequally. So, they really understand that domestic violence is not only a woman’s issue, and it is not only a man’s issue either. The fact is that most of the domestic violence victims are women and children and that gives DVS a point of start to address the problem; they also understand that domestic violence is a matter of power and control and not only a simple relationship problem that can be solved by the couple within their home.
Also, they think that a person that uses domestic violence in any way knows what he or she is doing and can be held accountable for all the actions and behaviors related to this type of violence. Domestic violence affects all people in our society, not only the victim and the perpetrator.
DVS also has some very important pointers towards domestic violence that motivate their work:
- Domestic violence is child abuse; this can be learned from an early stage and it will most of the times become cyclical and intergenerational
- Domestic violence is powered and motivated by silence. One of the issues that DVS tackles the most because it is one of the causes that domestic violence numbers are not accurate.
- Domestic violence can be prevented. With the right educational approach, effective intervention and a correct follow-up, violent and abusive behavior can be replaced by healthy attitudes towards others.
- Both men and women are responsible for ending domestic violence. DVS knows that most of the victims are women, but men are the ones that have to be educated to really see some change. Both parts of the couple most work in order to end domestic violence.
- Society has to play its role in order to see some real change in this issue.
Unfortunately, an issue that affects many and that is hard to take count and understand the dimensions. Fortunately, there are charities like DVS that try to grasp the whole picture of the problem.
Be sure to also read this post on a charity that is tackling child abuse