“Home should be a place of liberation”

My colleague said this at a meeting yesterday. I first heard it at our conference last year when the incredible Alissa Bierra was talking about Marissa Alexander. Hearing that sentence again stopped me in my tracks. It is so powerful. Especially in light of the story of Korryn Gaines who was recently shot and killed by police in her own home, in front of her five year old son. (On a tangent, did it not occur to the police that perhaps they should come back another time? Does failure to appear in court really warrant a death sentence?)

But back to that phrase. For years in the domestic violence field, we have struggled to say what we want vs. what we don’t want. We don’t want abuse. We don’t want coercion. We don’t want assault. But that phrase is a gift. It is part of our end goal. It is the way.

home should be a place of liberationHome should be a place of liberation. An absence of violence is not enough. You should be treated with respect by those who proclaim to love you (and those who are “sworn to protect”).

Home should be a place of liberation. You can have opinions in your home. You can disagree about things and have a voice.

Home should be a place of liberation. It should be a place where you can be who you truly are. If you are different from your family (for example a gay or trans teen), you should be loved fiercely.

Home should be a place of liberation. That is what I want. For me. For you. For all of us.

News you can relate to

Some stories that caught our eye this week:

The Abuse Of ‘Feel-Good’ Cop Videos “These videos, combined with the countless videos of black men and women and children shot dead by cops, serve to remind us that we should both fear and love them if we want to survive. And if we don’t survive, we have nobody to blame but ourselves—see how capable of not killing us they can be? Anybody who has been in an abusive relationship will recognize this behavior. It’s a raised hand that might be a slap but then lowers for a pat on the shoulder.”

President Barack Obama Says, “This Is What a Feminist Looks Like” “Yes, it’s important that their dad is a feminist, because now that’s what they expect of all men.”

Middle School Students Push For a Gender-Neutral Dress Code—And Win “The loss of educational time disproportionately targets girls,” says Carlson, who’s now 14. “It’s a very embarrassing and shaming moment, to get dress-coded. We’re still doing that to girls in school right now? We’re still measuring their clothes and telling them to change? That seems ridiculous.”

Five good things

This week we’re sharing a post from Eleanor Powell, our summer intern.

I don’t think I know anybody who could argue that the first six months of 2016 have been the best months of their lives. The continued police brutality against black Americans, the largest mass shooting in the history of the United States, a rise in blatant xenophobia—all these things have made it hard to be positive and keep fighting for justice.

So, here are five things I have been trying to think about when everything else seems hopeless:

  1. Over $150,000 was raised at the 2016 Goodwill Refuse To Abuse® 5K!
  2. Beyoncé, always.
  3. Leslie Jones, and the love shown towards her after she received hate on Twitter.
  4. Pokemon Go (What can I say, I’m a technology-obsessed millennial)
  5. The WSCADV staff. Thank you for working so tirelessly to end violence against women, and for making this internship special. Since my first day, I felt welcomed and included. I learned so much about the work you all do, and discovered what kind of work I want to be doing in the next five years. I truly cannot thank you guys enough for giving me such a great opportunity.

News you can relate to

Some stories that caught our eye this week:

The First Woman and African American Librarian of Congress Was Just Confirmed “Hayden is currently the chief executive of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, where she earned praise for keeping the library open during unrest in the city after the shooting death of Freddie Gray. The library became a community meeting space for people in search of information—and even food—during the protests.”

Obama, Biden Won’t Visit Universities That Fall Short In Addressing Sexual Assault “A group of 31 U.S. senators recently warned colleges and universities may be underreporting sexual assaults and domestic violence on campus. Just 9 percent of 11,000 schools required to report the number of assaults on campus said they had any occurrence of such crimes.”

A Single Photo From Baton Rouge That’s Hard to Forget “It is a remarkable picture. A single woman stands in the roadway, feet firmly planted. She poses no obvious threat. She is there to protest the excessive force which Baton Rouge police allegedly deploy against the city’s black citizens. She stands in front of police headquarters, on Saturday. And she is being arrested by officers who look better prepared for a war than a peaceful protest.”

News you can relate to

Some stories that caught our eye this week:

Antoine Elvin Sullivan shot and killed his wife and then himself. His grieving mother decided to have a domestic violence expert speak at her son’s funeral. “I told her we needed to let people know the abusers are your father, are your sons, are everyday people who hold good jobs.”

Given how rarely police are held accountable for crimes they commit, it was a surprise when Daniel Holtzclaw was convicted of sexually assaulting multiple black women in Oklahoma City. Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw discusses the case.

If domestic-violence victims can’t secure safe housing after separating from their abusive partners, 60 percent will return to their abuser and 38 percent will become homeless. Lifewire and the King County Housing Authority are working together to help survivors to a different outcome.