October 18, 2009
Topeka, KS- Week without violence begins this evening. Making this the 15th year that the local YWCA has done this event. I have been a participant in every single one.
As I try to find my clothes to begin the event that starts at the botanical gardens a Candle light vigil- for reflection.. I struggle with the pain of knowing and seeing where have we come from 15 years ago..? When I began again the same events that I am attempt to do again, a 15th time.
The answer is backwards. We have gone backwards. The Domestic violence the deaths the killings are at all record highs, the media the politics all keep covering it up… I have been for 15 years marching into darkness screaming into the black hole of genocide for human rights.
Three generations of my family are now gone- lost to DV. My dear mother’s death will mark one year at the end of this ‘week without violence’. My daughter, my beautiful baby girl, her child hood gone... Then there is me…
Over 16 years of fighting to stay safe, struggling for what should just be plain simple. To be free from torture, to simply just be free. I, like many I have met through the excruciating almost two decades live simply on ‘hope’ alone. We dream free, this they cannot take from us. This we hang the hope of all humanity on.
We have to believe in a better world we have to count on each other, we have to hope that we as one can pull out of the dark ages for the sake of humanity. Simply.
As I dress, my heart is so low, so saddened by so many years so many lost lives- and still watching with quick silence the de-political-izing of the genocide of family violence.
The what was known as the Battered Women’s Task Force, now for de-political-izing the ‘safety and empowerment center” (wtf is that?) I see only backwards movement; I am disheartened beyond words and struggle in my grief to keep fighting- as I pray for the end of the battle- at least my journey.
Trying to pass the torch- trying to keep the movement going the mothers the children the victims- the judicial genocide of criminal rewards…
I am tired. I post below the schedule of events for this weeks “Week without Violence”.. As like I do every year- indeed Every day, I will continue to do what I can to make a difference- to stop the violence.
I dress now- looking for my ‘purple’, as yet again I head out into the dark ages hoping to shed some ‘light’ into the crisis of women and children globally.
YWCA’S 2009 WEEK WITHOUT VIOLENCE: EMBRACE LOVE, STOP VIOLENCE
Topeka, Kan. – Embrace love, stop violence is the theme of this year’s YWCA Week Without Violence, which kicks off on Sunday, Oct. 18, at 5 p.m., with a Reflection Vigil at Lake Shawnee.
For over a decade, YWCA’s across the country have united communities in support of survivors of domestic violence with its Week Without Violence activities, and Topeka is no exception.
The annual event, which is hosted by the YWCA of Topeka’s Center for Safety and Empowerment (formerly the Battered Women’s Taskforce), gives the community a chance to participate in several events geared towards raising awareness and preventing domestic violence.
“Each year we turn to our community members and ask them to join us in drawing attention to the serious issue of domestic violence and the impact that it has not only on victims but on our entire community,” Eileen Doran, director of the Center for Safety and Empowerment, said. “This is an opportunity to take a stand against violence in our relationships, our homes, and our city.”
Every week in the United States...
- Over 200,000 people stay in a domestic violence shelter or transitional housing program.
- Over 150,000 people call emergency domestic violence hotlines.
- Nearly 60,000 victims of domestic violence request services that domestic violence programs are unable to provide.
Every week in Topeka...
- 12 people stay in Topeka's only emergency domestic violence shelter.
- 20 people call the YWCA's 24-hour emergency helpline.
One week in October...
- Our community stands up, embraces love and stops violence.
Week Without Violence Events are as follows:
10.18: Reflection Vigil
5-6pm, Lake Shawnee Botanical Gardens
Each year, Topeka's faith community gathers to begin the week with prayer and reflection. Help bring about a more peaceful world. Those who attend will have an opportunity to share stories and create peace flags to honor survivors. Out of respect and privacy wishes for survivors, media is asked to come after the services are over at 6 p.m.to interview organizers or photograph peace flags.
10.19: Chalk at the Capitol
5:30-8pm, Kansas Capitol Building South Lawn
Join us for free family fun including carnival games, moonwalks, prizes, art activities and a hot dog dinner! Chalk at the Capitol is a special night for families who want to have fun and start talking about peaceful relationships.
10.20 Sin by Silence Film Screening
7:00-8:30pm at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library
From behind prison walls, Sin by Silence reveals the lives of extraordinary women who advocate for a future free from domestic violence. Inside the California Institution for Women, the first inmate-initiated and led group in the US prison system, shatters the misconceptions of domestic violence. Against the system and against the odds, the women of Convicted Women Against Abuse have risen to expose the stigma of domestic violence, reveal the brutal details of violent relationships, explain the lack of options available to women and, most importantly, how domestic violence affects each and every one of us. Please join us for this powerful film. A panel discussion featuring Olivia Klaus, the film's producer / director and Brenda Clubine, founder of CWAA will follow the film. Learn more about the film at www.sinbysilence.com.
10.21 March and Rally to End Domestic Violence
12-1pm starting at the YWCA of Topeka and ending at the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas campus
(be sure to NOT COVER UP THE BCBS signs with anti violence posters) You see they want to only put their name not the REAL crisis up)
Each year since 1995, Topekans have gathered at this event to make their voices heard. Join your voice with hundreds of concerned community members as we demand an end to domestic violence. The march will begin at the YWCA of Topeka where participants will gather and pick up signs. Marchers will then walk through the heart of downtown Topeka to the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas campus for a free hot dog lunch, speakers and performances. This year’s speakers include Curt and Christi Brungardt, whose daughter Jana Mackey was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in 2008. Learn more about the Brungardt’s efforts to honor their daughter’s life at www.1100torches.org.
10.22 Speak Up, Speak Out Teen Performance Art Night
6-8pm at The Break Room
Teens showcase their talents in drawing, painting, photography, song, dancing, poetry and more as the speak out against relationship violence. Prizes will be awarded to the top entries in visual and performance art.
10.23 Empowerment Now! Self-Defense Class
12-1pm or 5:30-6:30pm at the YWCA Health Arena
This free self-defense class will help participants learn a few new moves while getting a great workout and building confidence. Attend either convenient session.
10.24 Voices against Violence Featuring Katlyn Conroy
9pm-midnight at Bosco's
Indie, folk and acoustic artist Katlyn Conroy brings melodramatic pop from Lawrence to our fair city. Check out original music from Katlyn and other local performers at Boscos during Voices Against Violence. Cover charge is $5 at the door. All proceeds benefit the YWCA Center for Safety and Empowerment (formerly the YWCA Battered Women Task Force) in their efforts to help victims of domestic and sexual violence. Hear Katlyn at http://www.myspace.com/katlynconroy