This October, in recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, SAFE is encouraging our community to think about what it means when relationships are respectful, healthy, and free from abuse. We want to start a conversation by sharing what love means in our lives.
The goal of the To Me, LOVE Means… campaign is to focus on the positive and healthy behaviors we’d like to see more of. Already, people are filling out and posting cards that explore what love means to each of us in our relationships and in our community.
“To Me, LOVE Means… Freedom to be authentic and accepted no matter what.”
“To Me, LOVE Means… Acceptance and patience.”
“To Me, LOVE Means… Familia.”
“To Me, LOVE Means… Together!”
How you can participate
These are just a few messages we’ve received. Throughout DVAM and beyond, we invite you to describe what love means to you and share your responses with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Just use the hashtag #tomeLOVEmeans and tag @SafePlace_ATX on Twitter, @SafePlace.EndingSAandDV on Facebook, and @safe_atx on Instagram.
And you can fill out a To Me, LOVE Means… card either by printing out the below images or by picking up a postcard from our SafePlace Community Education team. Contact Natalia at [email protected]ustin.org or Amanda at [email protected] for postcards and other materials. English and Spanish versions of the card are available below. Just right click either image (long press on mobile) and select “Open image in new tab” or “Save image as…” to access the files.
Why we need to show what LOVE means
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 20 Americans experience intimate partner violence every minute. Over their lifetimes, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will experience severe physical violence at the hands of an intimate partner. Health problems associated with domestic violence include bladder and kidney infections, gynecological disorders, depression, and symptoms of PTSD, just to name a few.
We need to spread the word that this is happening — that people we care about are experiencing relationship violence, often in silence. We need to spread the word that it is unacceptable.
We share this information to hopefully break that silence and start a conversation about what it will take to heal our community and prevent future violence.
So how do we move from understanding to action? We know that change often starts small and the best, most lasting changes involve incremental shifts in our thoughts and actions. We share these thoughts and actions with others close to us and the message spreads exponentially.
Let’s share our stories of love, our vision for connection.
And to find more ways to get involved in domestic violence prevention, visit http://www.safeaustin.org/get-involved/span/