Domestic Violence Awareness Month – Richland County Bar Helps!

Thanks to Guest Blogger Elizabeth Cook! And my apologies for not uploading earlier.

The Richland County Bar Association is hosting a fundraiser on October 22, during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, to raise money for Sistercare, a local organization that provides services for battered women and their children—and we need your help!  Please join us for a shrimp boil and silent auction to benefit Sistercare on Thursday, October 22, 2009, at 6:00 at the University House.  We’re going to have a great time enjoying a delicious shrimp boil and fried chicken with fixin’s from Seawell’s, the traditional Bluegrass music of The Carolina Rebels, door prizes, and bidding on an array of auction items.

Please take the time to view this brief video to learn about victim services in South Carolina, Sistercare and how your support can help them provide much-needed legal services to battered women in the midlands.

Sistercare has lost a significant portion of its grant funding, like so many other service organizations during the recent economic downturn.  This loss of funding is directly impacting Sistercare’s ability to provide legal services and support to the women it serves.  Your tax-deductible contribution will be used to supplement Sistercare’s budget for legal work, allowing Sistercare’s attorneys and court advocates to better represent the interests of its clients.  Sistercare is dependent on donations from individuals and groups to survive right now—please consider donating to this worthy cause.

For more information about Sistercare, visit www.sistercare.com .  For more information about the shrimp boil and to make a reservation or donation, contact the Richland County Bar at 771-9801 or mail your check to Richland County Bar, PO Box 7632, Columbia, South Carolina 29202.  Thank you in advance for supporting the indispensable services provided by Sistercare.  We look forward to seeing you on October 22nd; your donation will truly make a difference!

 

PS – Spoke with Elizabeth Cook. They raised $3,000 for Sistercare with this fundraiser.

Remember my name

CIMG5007

October is DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH!

If you haven’t already seen this site, please take a few minutes to check out the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) website.

Their Remember My Name project has a scrolling list of names of people – men, women and children – who have lost their lives to domestic violence.

Sadly, names continue to be added daily.

-rfw

South Carolina’s #1 Crime: Domestic Violence

Purple Ribbon Dom Viol

This morning while reading an article about Domestic Violence in The State newspaper, I became a little choked up. Why this article this morning? I don’t know for certain.

It could be because I’ve been focusing on Domestic Violence this month a little more than usual. Sure I’ve noted Domestic Violence Awareness Month each year, but this year, I’ve received information about DV while also searching for statistics as well as stories.

I don’t have to go too far to find someone I know. Even in high school one of my best friends confided in me that her boyfriend liked to hurt her. I advised her then to stop seeing him. It took a few more times of him “hurting” her before she finally did.

Then in my late twenties, one of my dear friends moved out of town to be with her “dreamy” boyfriend. Through the grapevine I heard that she was being abused. I called her up at work and asked if this was true. She didn’t want to talk about it. That was ok, I didn’t give up. Eventually I went to visit her, and meet him. At first glance, he seemed dashing and quite charming. I could see the attraction. Later though when we “girls” stayed up late chatting into the wee hours, I learned the truth. It didn’t take long for us to come up with a plan to move her back home – while he was away.

And then there’s the pro bono work I did in law school. A friend and I volunteered with the USC School of Law’s Pro Bono Program to assist the grant-sponsored Sistercare legal advocacy program. Our role was limited – we, advocate/law students, couldn’t represent the victims in court, but we could meet with them, complete the questionnaire with them, hand them tissues, hold their hands and hug them. They told us that they appreciated our help.

And one time, the attorney supervisor had another engagement and wasn’t able to appear with one of the victims. The victim, a mild-mannered woman who had been married 30+ years to the man, wasn’t able to afford an attorney. And she had nobody else to go with her into the courtroom. The volunteers were not allowed to represent the victims but were allowed to accompany them into the courtroom.

So I went. I was a little nervous. A little scared. After all, the husband was there. And so was his attorney. And then I had my “aha” moment (as Oprah calls them) – if I was nervous, how did the victim feel?

When the judge asked everyone to identify ourselves, I noted that I was the advocate and unable to represent the woman next to me. The judge allowed me to stay.

The hearing took about 15 minutes. It was evident that the woman didn’t know how to defend her claim. And I was just there to offer her a friendly hand.

After the hearing we went into the hall, where it was TENSE. The woman and I spoke on one side of the hall. The husband and his attorney spoke on the other side. I remember her telling me “I have to go back. He has all the money. I haven’t worked in 30+ years. He said it will be ok.”

I watched as she left me and walked over to her much taller, larger husband. They embraced. I felt alone and demoralized. I don’t know what she felt.

Every now and then I think about her. Is she ok? I’ll probably never know.

-RFW

October: Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Ribbon-Dom ViolIn case you haven’t heard, October is DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH.

Show your support of victims of Domestic Violence but wearing a purple ribbon.

Additionally, if you are or know someone who is a victim of domestic violence and needs assistance, even beginning to figure out where to start, here are 2 national resources:

Additional resources in South Carolina:

-RFW

Nuff said!

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

South Carolina Resources – http://www.sccadvasa.org/members.aspx

National Resources – http://www.ncadv.org/ and http://new.vawnet.org/Assoc_Files_VAWnet/OctNov08-eNewsletter.pdf

Statistics of Domestic Violence Assistance in 2007 –  http://www.sccadvasa.org/articles/134.pdf

-RFW