Our women and children are in danger

Dear Editor,

I write to you as a woman, a sister, a wife, an aunt, and a great-grandaunt. I write with great sadness – sadness for our women, mothers, sisters, aunts, and young girls and babies in our society.

I write with a sense of disappointment – disappointment that, as a society, we are not able to give an assurance to our young children that we will take proper care of them.

Disappointed that simply to be a woman or a child in our country, one is at risk of violence and abuse. Disheartened that we cannot prevent innocent young children from falling through the cracks, thus denying them the opportunity of a joyful life.

Nelson Mandela said it well, “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.”

How many more women, young girls, and young children must live with this constant fear of being attacked and violated?

Our women and children are in danger; we must act now to stop these attacks. Violence against women and children has become a national crisis. The collective anger, the pain, and the fear that these crimes have caused must strengthen our resolve to end all forms of violence and abuse perpetrated by men against women and children.

The recent attacks on women and children around the country are inhumane and immoral acts of criminality. It says more about us as a society and what we seem to tolerate.

We should call it for what it is. It is despicable and deplorable violent attacks by men on women, girls, and children. If we want to see change, we must be that change. We must take a zero-tolerance approach to gender-based violence in this country. If left unaddressed, these violations pose serious consequences for current and future generations. The effects of violence can remain with women and children for a lifetime and can pass from one generation to another.

Women should not have to protect themselves from men. They should feel safe and secure with our men. They have the right to feel safe.

As long as the mindsets and behavior of many men remain unchanged, especially against women and children, it truly is an indictment on all of us.

We have to confront ourselves with the hard question of whether we are contributing to or combatting the violence we see in society. The criticism of society is therefore also criticism of us.

We are a society at war with ourselves. To deny this is to be complicit and part of the problem. To be silent, renders us impotent, unable, and unwilling to solve this inexcusable character of many of our men and boys. We do not fight for each other, we fight with each other. This has to stop!

I appeal to you that we all need to take radical steps together to raise awareness and shape the desired behavior to counter these forms of violence that are plaguing our country.

To learn of ways you can help raise awareness and support our cause to end violence and abuse against women and children, email us at info242dvsn@gmail.com or @242DomesticViolenceSupportNetworkInc (Facebook).

– Shervonne Cash-Hollis, founder of 242 Domestic Violence Support Network, Inc.

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