Three women die every day from domestic violence-related issues, and one in three women have, or will be, abused by their partners at some point in their life.
These are real statistics.
Despite the fact that people tend to leave domestic violence unaddressed, it continues to be a major, urgent issue affecting all parts of the globe. Victims of domestic violence are statistically more likely to develop heart disease, asthma, reproductive health issues, and alcohol addiction, not to mention the fact that the rate of them becoming abusers in the future increases by almost fifty percent. Over forty percent of female murders are committed by their partners.
As the public continues to turn a blind eye to the pressing issue of domestic violence, more and more women are falling victim to this senseless punishment. It’s important to be aware of organizations that are taking action to address this issue. The terrifying thought is that it could be any one of us, so let’s try to do our part and help out other women.
In many communities, including my own, domestic violence seems to be overlooked because of the stigma that surrounds it. These bold, passionate women aren’t afraid to address the issue head on and say what no one else is saying. Here are seven domestic violence organizations – all led by women – that make the world just a little bit brighter.
Started by two high school students in the San Francisco Bay Area, Square One sends aid to victims of domestic violence by partnering with various women’s shelters to distribute SquareKits, which are essentially care packages that cater to the victims’ physical, mental, and emotional needs. The powerful women at Square One represent a new era of change and growth: the millennial generation shaping the world they will soon inherit. What makes Square One different from other domestic violence groups is that it does not handle prevention or emergency and instead focuses on the healing process itself.
W.O.M.A.N., short for Women Organized to Make Abuse Nonexistent, is an organization that provides services for women in difficult situation by catering to their individual needs. As the concept of feminism evolves, so does their approach. They have a 24-hour hotline for anyone who may need someone to talk to, and has been making a difference in the lives of Bay Area women since 1978. They run a support group in which survivors can share their stories and take comfort in the fact that they are not alone. This highly personalized approach run completely by dedicated individuals is a refreshing departure from the run-of-the-mill monetary donation.
Formerly known as Women Helping Battered Women, this organization is exactly what its name suggests. The idea of sisterhood that comes with women supporting other women is a concept that tends to be forgotten in our rapidly individualized world, and it’s comforting to see that such efforts still exist. They aim to help women who have been abused in any way to lead “safe and independent” lives. This effort to make a difference in one community is a reminder for us all to do our part in our own communities. They have been doing such work since 1964.
4. Asian & Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence (Oakland, CA)
The API Institute is a national resource center focused on gender-based violence (DV, sexual violence, and sex trafficking) in Asian and Pacific Islander communities. This specialized organization is catered to a specific demographic – and one that is often overlooked in this community. They aim to tackle issues by increasing awareness, strengthening tactics for prevention and intervention, and promoting research and policy. Their website is a great resource to learn about patriarchy and its effects on society, as well as an arsenal of statistics on such issues.
5. Battered Women’s Justice Project (Minneapolis, MN)
BWJP offers programs for those who have been affected by the criminal and civil justice systems. The Battered Women’s Justice Project aims to create solutions to solve the problems created by our current policing system. They also monitor domestic violence trends and track perpetrators. They offer consultations and technical training in order to aid women in their effort to create a life outside of the criminal and/or civil justice system. This organization is catered to a very specific, and often overlooked, demographic. BWJP is founded on the importance of realizing that there are some groups (who tend to be generalized and stereotyped) that deserve recognition and support just as anyone else would.
6. INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence (Burbank, CA)
INCITE! is a group of self-proclaimed “radical feminists” who focus on pushing for a movement to end violence against women of color and their communities. Comprised of numerous chapters across the United States, INCITE! works with groups of women of color and their communities to develop projects that address the violence that many women, especially women of color, may experience. By getting the surrounding communities involved, they are also raising awareness and inadvertently creating a society that values advocacy and activism. Women of color deserve the same representation as their white counterparts, and INCITE! Is doing their part to address this need.
7. Manavi (New Brunswick, NJ)
Manavi, which means “primal woman” in Sanskrit, is an organization that works to end the violence against and exploitation of South Asian women in the United States. Particularly, the organization aims to end family violence and sexual abuse. Manavi provides support directly to survivors of violence, like-minded grassroots organizations, and awareness programs on local and national levels. They also have monthly newsletters to keep the public updated on what they’re involved in and ways to help out.
Whether it be through a one-on-one basis, care packages, or rescue programs, these organizations are not afraid to do what no one else is doing. In a world that would rather forget that domestic violence still exists, it’s nice to know that these organizations will never forget. These women working tirelessly towards a safer future makes my heart happy and inspires me to be a little more aware of the greater sisterhood that I’m apart of.