Monday, March 8, 2010

Social Justice Challenge for March: Domestic Violence and Child Abuse

2010 Social Justice Reading Challenge

The Social Justice Challenge for March is one I’m familiar with. I am concentrating on Children and Families in my Social Work program, and I also come from a family rampant with both forms of violence.

  • What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of domestic violence and child abuse? My family, and my clients. Children, women, men. Humanity.
  • What does domestic violence and child abuse mean to you personally? I come from a family with multiple generations of abuse. My maternal grandfather was beat with chains. He in turn ruled his house with an iron fist – literally. The abuse, in some form, has trickled down throughout my family. Half of the women in my family have endured domestic violence relationships, multiple times. I am not sure how I escaped all of this. Some of it was personal choice, some of it was having a mother who made different choices. Now, my mother wasn’t perfect. I mostly remember her ridiculous temper (very common character trait in my family) and her 5’ tall self scared the crud out of me growing up. But, she loved me so deeply. So unconditionally. I think that makes the difference.
  • What is your current knowledge of domestic violence and child abuse? I am not all knowing, but I’m learning a lot about it. I do know that is prevalent, and while we strive to make changes in how people handle personal turmoil/conflict/stress/anxiety, it is a VERY difficult thing to eradicate. Some of it's learned, some of it's personal choice. Some of it's not knowing how to handle situations properly.
  • Are you aware of the resources available for men, women and children who find themselves in domestic violence and child abuse situations? In my area, yes. There are also multiple internet resources, which lead to local resources.
  • Have you chosen a book or resource to read for this month? I desperately want to read Push, but I don’t own the book yet. I’ve seen The Burning Bed and The Color Purple, but never read the books. I am going to check out, because I would ultimately like to work with adolescents on these very issues.
  • Take some time and think about what potential action steps you could take. (I’ll have a post dedicated to this shortly). Continue working with my clients, and educate those around me as much as possible.


  1. I think your personal story is far too common. There is so much abuse out there...and I think educating others is one step towards decreasing it. I also see this as a societal problem in how our society views women - despite the very real progress of women's rights, many people (including women) continue to view women as possessions or see women in roles which are passive or "weak." Thanks for a thought-provoking post.

  2. I hope you find some books for the challenge. I found too many that I am hoping to read. I have heard mixed reviews on PUSH and I am still unsure if I am going to read that one.