Thursday, August 26, 2010

Why Is Domestic Violence "Everybody's Business"?

We recently posted a story on our Facebook page about a person who heard her neighbors having a heated argument "screaming at each other"...she had her window opened and listened to the whole dispute that night but never called 911.

Her neighbor was killed.  Her alleged murderer was her boyfriend and a man with a history of domestic violence.  The woman who did not call said "I feel bad now that I didn't call 911. I could have prevented this."

You can read the story here.

Let's be clear - only ONE person is responsible for the murder...the person who did it.

But what is our responsibility when we see something or hear something that concerns us?  What if we see bruises on a co-worker?  What if we hear a heated argument at a neighbor's house? What if we are concerned for a child we see in a grocery store? What is OUR responsibility?

Should we walk away?  Or should we call 911?  Or somehow reach out?

We know that in the workplace, it is in an employer's "enlightened self interest" to have policies and programs and resources for employees (batterers and victims) involved in domestic violence because it impacts the workplace in terms of absenteeism, workplace productivity, healthcare costs, turnover, and workplace safety.  You can learn more about that here.

But what about in the rest of life?  In the community?  Is it in YOUR "enlightened self-interest" to make domestic violence your business?

I would say yes.  For this simple reason.

You may change -- or save -- a life.

You can read more in this blog about how to talk to someone you care about and there are links on this blog to resources.  But at the end of the day, we all have a decision to make. Will I make this "my business" or not?

I hope you do.

4 comments:

KWG said...

My daughters and I thank you for the work you do, Kim. Really. It is everyone's business.

Kim Wells said...

Thank YOU Kevin. For the example you set for your daughters...and everyone.

AVER said...

Yes it is everybody's business. When people debate this point with me I always tell them to research the murder of Kitty Genovese, which most active bystander programs are created from. Thank you for drawing attention to this issue.

Ishita said...

Nowadays domestic violence is very common problem in our nuclear family. I am fully agree with you Kim it is now everyone’s business………