October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and on our blog we’ve shared different perspectives on this tremendously impacting issue, detailing how detrimental it is to our families, communities and culture as a whole. Every instance of domestic violence has multiple victims; multiple lives irrevocably changed. Below is such a life. Tanya Winje, an FCNI Program Supervisor, bravely shares her personal story of fear, hopelessness, survival and healing.
Welcome to our Blog! We post weekly articles written on a variety of topics from a variety of people, including our staff, volunteers, community members, and our parents and youth. The Voices of our Blog are opinion pieces, reflecting the diverse experiences and viewpoints of our community. These articles are not meant to represent the views of everyone at FCNI, our Board of Directors and staff, or present a definitive policy statement, but are designed to be informative and thought-provoking.
As a tiny introduction to get acquainted, we are Chanda Brown and Samantha Nason of Zest it Up, a locally run event design and catering company. We had the honor of working with all the amazing volunteers at FCNI’s Benefit for Kids this past July. We were left so impressed by the caliber of work being done by Family Care Network and by all the wonderful vendors and attendees who so wholeheartedly came out to support their mission, that we can say we were officially “bit by the bug!” Community is contagious and the strength that comes from it is boundless. This strength is the kind that lifts up those who struggle and knits them more intricately into the fabric of our community. Those without a voice, are given a voice. We found ourselves wanting to dive deeper and call more people out to connect and support FCNI.
“Family” is supposed to be a sanctuary; a place of safety, nurturing, healing, growing, sharing, loving, laughter and joy! But for too many, “Family” is none of these things. Instead, “Family” is a battleground, a bastion of physical and mental abuse; a place to avoid and run from, not a place to run towards. Domestic Violence is a blight on society; it is a strong indictment against our culture and our pervasive tolerance and acceptance of violence as a way of life. Domestic violence is merely a reflection of a much deeper, embedded pandemic sickness within our society.
Like with other forms of violence in our culture, our sensitivity to domestic violence has been substantially dulled, and we are no longer repulsed or grieved by it. So, let me provide a blunt reminder about the magnitude of Domestic Violence. (From www.ncadv.org)
I absolutely loathe the Presidential election cycle. As we have careened through the presidential elections over the span of my lifetime, they have become a downhill slope into a pit of vitriol negativity, bombastic arrogance and blatant dishonesty. Promoting policies and ideas has been supplanted by trashing one’s opponent. The harder a candidate tries to take the high ground, the more they are assaulted with brutal character attacks, mudslinging and maligning.
The last few election cycles seem to have improved a little, then came 2016. It is astounding to me that we have a presidential contender who has built an entire campaign on fear-mongering, hate, lying, bullying, character assassination and divisiveness. Intelligent policy discussion is nonexistent. What’s more alarming, is that there are millions of Americans who are marching lockstep in support. You don’t have to go too far back in history to remember a similar person deceiving and manipulating the masses; and the consequences were diabolic!
What is occurring right now in the American political arena is a Righteous Indictment, declaring, “AMERICA YOU HAVE LOST YOUR VIRTUE!”
For those of you who are not in the behavioral health field, you may be surprised to learn that the term “Recovery” refers not just to addiction issues but also mental health issues. As someone who works in the field and also has a sister diagnosed as having Bipolar Disorder, understanding the concepts of the Recovery Model has been an encouragement to me. I can distinctly remember getting a phone call while I was in one of my grad school classes telling me that my sister had been hospitalized due to her mental illness. This wasn’t the first time she was hospitalized, and the weight of my fear and grief hung off of me like an oversized coat. I can remember standing outside during my break from class, staring at the grass, and realizing that for all her gifts, talents, hopes and dreams, my sister would always struggle with a profound mental illness.