Chatting to #CenterEachOther

By the National Network to End Domestic Violence nnedv

In partnership with allies, colleagues, and supporters from across the country,* the National Network to End Domestic Violence and WomensLaw convened a bilingual Twitter chat as part of the national Week of Action. Together, we discussed how to “tie-in” each other’s work and address the varied needs of survivors and their families. Advocates shared ways that their organizations work to end domestic violence, as well as multiple barriers that survivors face.

Lasting change requires inclusivity, so it was no surprise that the importance of intersectionality was a recurring theme throughout the hour-long chat. Survivor needs cannot be met through a “one size fits all” approach. In order to eliminate domestic violence we must address all forms of oppression including – but not limited to – racism, sexism, ageism, homophobia, and classism.

Advocates voiced their concerns and efforts to address such issues as the prevalence of firearms in domestic violence and the growing need for responsible firearm laws; working to meet the unique needs of LGBTQ victims; sustaining culturally specific programs; engaging men and boys as allies in the movement to end violence against women; and economic justice and financial empowerment. Through national dialogue, effective programming, and collaborative efforts we are working together to move the needle and help end domestic violence.

Participants discussed ways to change popular conversations about domestic violence and promote a culture shift that will ultimately help end domestic violence (which ties in perfectly to our #31n31 campaign for Domestic Violence Awareness Month that challenges widely held perceptions about domestic violence). Advocates shared that culture change is necessary: we must shift away from permissive “boys will be boys” rhetoric and attitudes toward positive norms that build in education and conversations with children about healthy relationships. We must dismantle the belief that domestic violence is only a women’s issue and question the way the media portrays domestic violence. The media rarely reflects diversity and often minimizes abuse, which can affect our assumptions about victims and believing their experiences.

Advocates discussed education and training, both within the field and to the broader public. Participants suggested ways to redefine gender roles that often perpetuate violence in relationships, and begin placing more emphasis and value on equality, respect, and nonviolence.

Ending domestic violence will not happen overnight; however, working together, it IS possible. In a perfect world, we could raise our magic wands and provide unlimited resources to obtain financial security, break down barriers that keep women of color from accessing resources, and eliminate stigma that LGBTQ victims, victims living with HIV, or men experiencing abuse face. In that perfect world, we would have what we need to empower victims and ultimately eliminate domestic violence. While there is no magic wand, there is power and determination when our organizations are centered and connected in this work.

The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) strives to create meaningful collaboration with other organizations to promote and create a world free from domestic violence. To #CenterEachOther means to support the expertise that we and the survivors we serve every day bring to the table. “Centering each other” makes domestic violence a national concern, promoting peace and safety through every community and every home. Together we are stronger.

YWCA USA was a proud co-sponsor of this tweet chat.

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* #CenterEachOther Co-hosts:

  • AEquitas
  • Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence
  • Association for Progressive Communications
  • ATCEV
  • A CALL TO MEN
  • Black Women’s Health Imperative
  • Casa de Esperanza: National Latin@ Network
  • Center for Economic and Policy Research
  • CiviliNation
  • Collective Action for Safe Spaces (CASS)
  • Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence
  • DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence
  • Embassy of Argentina / Cancillería Argentina
  • Everytown for Gun Safety
  • Generation Progress, Center for American Progress
  • Hollaback!
  • It’s On Us
  • Jane Doe, Inc.
  • Joyful Heart Foundation
  • La Clínica
  • Legal Momentum
  • Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence
  • Men Can Stop Rape
  • Mexico Consulate in Philadelphia
  • Mil Mujeres
  • Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women
  • Moms Rising
  • My Sister’s Place
  • National Center on Domestic & Sexual Violence
  • National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma, & Mental Health
  • National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life (NCALL)
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
  • National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center
  • National Resource Center on Domestic Violence
  • National Sexual Violence Resource Center
  • Nebraska Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence
  • New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NYSCADV)
  • NW Network
  • Prevention Innovations Research Center
  • RI Coalition Against Domestic Violence
  • South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
  • Stalking Resource Center
  • Syrian American Medical Society
  • Tahirih Justice Center
  • Twitter
  • S. Positive Women’s Network
  • United State of Women (USOW)
  • Virginia Sexual & Domestic Violence Action Alliance
  • YWCA Canada | A Turning Point for Women
  • YWCA USA

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YWCA’s Week Without Violence is part of a global movement to end violence against women and girls with the World YWCA. Want to join the movement to end gender-based violence? Learn more at www.YWCAweekwithoutviolence.org and join the conversation on Twitter with #WorkAgainstViolence.