Building Strength Over Silence

Posted by: Peter Long, Ph.D.

As this year’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month continues, I find myself humbled, inspired, and uplifted by the stories and words of support that have been shared with us through our End the Silence campaign.

Take a few minutes to tour the gallery of stories for a window into the powerful experiences of survivors, advocates who work tirelessly to support them, and so many other individuals who refuse to stay silent. I also encourage you to join the conversation by adding your own thoughts or stories about why domestic violence matters to you - and why we must all be willing to speak up. Whether you share 5 words or 50, your voice matters. I've posted my personal reflections on domestic violence, and hope that you'll do the same. 

Here at the Foundation, we understand that the root causes of domestic violence cannot - and will not - be solved if we focus solely only treating its physical and emotional impacts and rely only on our shelters and the domestic violence field to solve the problem for us. This issue affects everyone, from children to families to neighborhoods and beyond. Ending domestic violence will require activated individuals and connected communities, sectors, and systems to not only treat - but prevent - violence. That’s why we are working to unite local domestic violence agencies, clinics, churches, leaders, schools, community centers and more to support partnerships that unearth new possibilities to break the cycle of violence. Our partners at the Orange County Women’s Health Project are a great example of how this comprehensive, collaborative approach is possible. As an Orange County resident, I'm proud to be a member of the community, and proud to lead a Foundation that supports its important work. 

While the OC represents a landmark solution to addressing and preventing domestic violence, they're not the only ones. There are incredible projects, programs, and efforts underway in every part of our state, but they cannot achieve transformational changes in our society on their own. We must all speak up and get involved in building safer, healthier communities. This month, We’ve heard some amazing stories and words of support, and I want to personally thank everyone who has joined the conversation. There is still time for you to add your voice and contribute to shifting  the public dialogue and perceptions about domestic violence — because it can happen to anyone, anywhere; and it affects all of us, everywhere. With your voice, you can help us end the silence about domestic violence. I hope you'll join the movement this month, and every month.