In a child there is innocence that does not understand right from wrong. When a child witnesses abuse, messages of what love, respect and kindness is lost. The family unit becomes dysfunctional as a result of domestic violence, sexual, physical and/or psychological abuse. The child ultimately doesn’t understand what goes on due to the silence of the victimized family member. Victims are silenced and so are their children for they both fear to be subject to more violence. Children in the home rely on safety, shelter, clothing, nourishment, and love, unfortunately, none of these components exist when families are exposed to domestic violence. Sometimes our thoughts are not pleasant so we deny the truth which leads to revolving doors beginning and ending at the same place. The person’s (child and victim’s) emotional and psychological make-up will be damaged and there is a desperate need to repair what has been broken, healing requires trust. Once abuse is accepted, violence can continue through generations. The alternative victims face is to rely on systems that do not re-victimize woman and their children. I request that ACS begins to use their money to assist families by providing support and protection to keep impacted families together. Not only do ACS separate families but also misallocate their resources and prolong the separation. Once again the child suffers in silence without a true understanding of the reason why he/she was separated from his/her caretaker. It’s time for a conversation, the change begins with you. Survivors’ deepest and darkest secrets must be unveiled and brought to the light to allow the process of healing to begin. “We, survivors of abuse, represent a change that we, with the support of others, can make possible. Our values, integrity and transparency lead to an understanding among the general public of what abuse is. Without community involvement how can we address the victims’ needs? Communication is essential between survivors, policymakers and local communities so that survivors’ experiences are taken into account. When does the cycle of abuse end if the community continues to turn the blind eye?
I am so proud to be part of an organization that represents the diversity of NYC women, including African American, Latina, white, Asian, immigrant, lesbian and disabled women. As a result of my membership in VOW, I have evolved from a survivor of domestic violence into an activist.
– Tracey, VOW member