What do I wish for in 2008? I wish for less domestic violence in the world. I wish for everyone the feeling of safety and security at home -- the one place we should all feel secure and loved. No one should feel afraid of the people who love them. No child, no adult, no older person. No one.
And for the domestic violence that is still with us, I wish for more and more workplaces willing to recognize the impact on employees and to recognize the warning signs, respond appropriately in the context of workplace behavior and performance, and appropriately and compassionately refer employees to the resources and services that can assist them -- both within the workplace and externally in the community. ANY employer can take simple steps to address the issue at work -- after all, it is affecting 21% of full time employed adults according to a survey the Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence did in 2005 and benchmarked in 2007. For more information, visit www.caepv.org and http://www.caepv.org/about/program_detail.php?refID=34.
Unfortunately, the Bureau of Justice Statistics just released updated numbers for 2005 indicating that there were more than more than 560,000 intimate partner victimizations in this country in 2005 – and sadly domestic homicides against women rose from 2004 to 2005. On average in 2005, more than three women a day were murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in the U.S. The new report is available at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/intimate/ipv.htm#contents.
So -- we have a long way to go. But the only way to get there is together. Families, workplaces, faith communities, social service agencies, schools, law enforcement, the judicial and legal system, the medical community, neighborhoods, friends. . .all working together to put an end to domestic violence. Helping each other.
Me? I am here trying to do what I can where I live each day to help and I am so thankful for the wonderful people I work with across the US and around the world who are so committed to making domestic violence "Everybody's Business." They are truly an inspiration and they give me hope.
I wish for everyone peace in 2008 -- and let it begin in our homes.