Courage is the most important of all virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage. ~ Maya Angelou
According to dictionary.com courage is defined as 1. the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty,danger,pain,etc.,without fear; bravery. 2. Obsolete, the heart as the source of emotion. 3. have the courage of one’s convictions, to act in accordance with one’s beliefs, especially in spite of criticism.
Everyday we are bombarded in the media by stories of violence. Violence in the streets, violence in our schools, violence in homes, the list goes on and on. It is easy to see all of this and think the world is a brutal and terrible place. It is easy to take on the attitude of change will never occur so why even try? What people fail to see or quickly forget is that many of these horrible stories of violence include someone who was incredibly courageous. I bet most can recall the events of the Franklin Regional School stabbing but very few can recall any first responders’ names. It’s in our nature to skim over the courage and focus on the facts, the violence.
Without courage, change doesn’t have a chance. At HOPE, it is our goal to build courage throughout the community to end domestic violence. Our mission is the safe elimination of domestic violence through intervention, prevention, and collaboration. Courage is not only standing up for what you believe in, but doing so even in the face of adversity. Courage is stepping outside of the box, of social norms at times, disregarding what’s popular and upholding your convictions. It may not be popular to discuss domestic violence, but it must be brought to the forefront. Society tends to view domestic violence as a “family issue” or something that needs to stay behind closed doors; at HOPE we are working to break down that barrier and erase that stigma. Domestic violence affects all races, sexes, cultures, and economical background-it does not discriminate. It is our goal to open people’s eyes to this prevalent issue.
No matter how someone is involved in a domestic violence situation, it takes courage to break the cycle of abuse. For the victim, it is often very difficult to leave a relationship in which she is experiencing domestic violence; there are a variety of reasons that would make someone reluctant to leave, from fear of escalation of the violent behavior to lack of financial security without the abuser. Even when a person is not the actual victim, it takes courage to confront domestic violence by speaking out. The person could fear alienation from the loved one who is experiencing the violence or simply not want to get caught up in a situation in which they are not directly involved. Recognizing abuse and taking the steps necessary to stop it from continuing are not always easy things to do, but they are important in order to take steps toward eliminating domestic violence in our communities and allowing all people to live their lives without fear for the safety of themselves or their families. Be #Courageous to #EndDV