When I requested to guest blog at Romance Junkies in January, and they suggested March, I thought, “This will be easy. March is perfect! It’s Women’s History Month, and that ties in well with our charity anthology and message about domestic violence.” Then I sat down to write the blog and realized there was so much I wanted to say that I started to scratch my head. Where to begin?
After much thought, it hit me. The best place to start is with women I admire for they have influenced me greatly. Some of them, like my mother, my staff at both Freya’s Bower and Wild Child Publishing, my grandmothers and ancestors who migrated to new countries, crossed the plains, and survived the grim realities of life, are every day women. You won’t find them in history books, but their importance in this world is no less than the famous women I admire. From women like Hatshepsut to Hildegard von Bingen to Elizabeth I to Margaret Brent to Mary Wollstonecraft to Susan B. Anthony to Abigail Scott Duniway to Sojourner Truth to Sarah Winnemucca to Jeannette Rankin to Alice Paul to Rosa Parks to Indira Gandhi to Valentina Tereshkova to Mother Teresa to Sally Ride to Benazir Bhutto to…the list is endless. These women were path breakers, their courage inspires me, they obeyed their consciences, and they followed their dreams. They’ve opened doors, changed laws, and made our lives better. They deserve to be remembered, honored, and emulated. Their stories told to inspire young women, and men.
Yet despite all of their accomplishments, and improvement in our lives as a result, it baffles me how the statistics for domestic violence remains high, how young men, and women, still think it’s okay to pressure their date to have sex even after she/he has said “no”, how authorities in some states do very little to protect those in violent situations, and how some girls and women don’t believe they are good enough to say “no”. Due to the lack of education, often, the victim doesn’t realize they are in an abusive situation. Once they do, escaping it can be nearly impossible when they have no family, friends, or financial support. Shelters for domestic abuse victims don’t just help women. They take in the children of these women, house, feed, clothe, provide medical aid, and help care for them. They give them a chance at a better life.
A number of the authors for Dreams & Desires, vol. 1 & 2, know someone or have experienced domestic violence. (This is not hard to do considering 25% of all women in the United States will experience it. That’s one in four women.1) Because we want to educate as well as raise money, we have included a foreword in both volumes listing the signs of an abuser and who to contact if in this situation.
The net proceeds for both of these volumes are donated to designated battered woman’s shelters in the United States. Last year, we donated over $1300 through our first volume. The sales continue to grow, and our aim is to donate even more this year.
Why are we doing this? Well, for me, it is obvious. We must help each other if we hope to make this world a better place. Domestic violence impacts our entire community, not just the families involved. Giving hope and helping a family out of a dangerous situation will improve everyone’s lives. Perhaps not as noticeably as some might think, but the child, the mother, the father who escapes that situation could be the next Indira Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Madame Curie, or the teacher who inspires a student to better themselves, aspire to great things. But also, while I have no illusions or desire for fame, I do want to make a difference, to follow in the footsteps of my mother, my grandmothers, and the women who paved the way for the life I am able to live today. For me, I think Abigail Scott Duniway said it best:
“The debt each generation owes to the past it must pay to the future.”~ Abigail Scott Duniway, Path Breakers, 1914.
Together we can make a difference, and we can change the world. Links to books:
Dreams & Desires, vol. 1: http://www.freyasbower.com/content/view/132/77/Prices: Ebook: $7.99, Paperback: $19.95, Hard Cover: $29.95
Dreams & Desires, vol. 2: http://www.freyasbower.com/content/view/347/77/Price: Ebook: $5.95, Paperback: $14.95
Links: Hatshepsut: http://www.metmuseum.org/special/se_event.asp?OccurrenceId=%7B92C8F718-137B-4AE6-9FAA-C8DA6CCE72CC%7D Hildegard von Bingen: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/med/hildegarde.html
Elizabeth I: http://www.elizabethi.org/ Margaret Brent: http://www.msa.md.gov/msa/speccol/sc3500/sc3520/002100/002177/html/mbrent2.html
Mary Wollstonecraft: http://oregonstate.edu/instruct/phl302/philosophers/wollstonecraft.html
Susan B. Anthony: http://www.susanbanthonyhouse.org/biography.shtml .
Abigail Scott Duniway: http://www.opb.org/oregonexperience/duniway/about.php
Sojourner Truth: http://www.sojournertruth.org/History/Biography/Default.htm .
Sarah Winnemucca: http://www.greatwomen.org/women.php?action=viewone&id=172
Jeannette Rankin: http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=r000055
Alice Paul: http://www.alicepaul.org/alicepaul.htm
Rosa Parks: http://www.grandtimes.com/rosa.html
Indira Gandhi: http://www.indiragandhi.com/aboutindiragandhi.htm
Valentina Tereshkova: http://starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/StarChild/whos_who_level2/tereshkova.html
Benazir Bhutto: http://www.achievement.org/autodoc/page/bhu0bio-1