This time of year always brings conversations about thankfulness. Many families begin practicing and preparing their “thankful thoughts” to be shared around the Thanksgiving dinner table. People attempt to define their gratitude by that one big thing – accompanied by a lengthy back story – to share with their family and friends.
It is important to remember that our gratitude does not have to focus on a big thing. Not all of us have that Norman Rockwell, Freedom from Want, moment each Thanksgiving.
- For 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men, it is just another day to live in fear and hope for peace and safety. They will be thankful if the violence doesn’t occur that day.
- On Thanksgiving Day in Pennsylvania, nearly 1,200 women and children will spend their holiday in a domestic violence shelter. They will be thankful that there are domestic violence shelters and that one had room for them.
- More than 750 people in crisis will call a domestic violence hotline in Pennsylvania. They will be thankful that an advocate answered their call.
- This Thanksgiving, approximately 7 million children will be living in a home were serious domestic violence occurs throughout the year. They are thankful when it stops – if only for a moment.
- For three women in the US, Thanksgiving will be that last day of their lives. – They will not be thankful.
The work of HOPE has taught us to appreciate every day and to be grateful for every effort. We are reminded of this when we witness gratitude for the most basic of things – food, clothing, shelter, and safety. At HOPE, we experience the bittersweet effects of families thankful for simple things that many of us take for granted.
At HOPE, we are grateful every day to be engaged in social change. We are thankful that we have a shelter to offer safety and respite for women and children who have been victimized. We are dedicated to our crisis hotline and are grateful that we are ready to answer when someone calls. HOPE advocates are grateful for community partnerships and collaborations that allow us to reach-out to survivors in the court systems of Allegheny and Westmoreland counties.
Make everyday a day to be thankful. Commit to taking a moment each day and remembering all of big and small reasons to be thankful.
This Thanksgiving – and every day – HOPE is thankful for all the support throughout the community that helps our programs thrive!
National Network to End Domestic Violence – 2013 Census Reports http://nnedv.org/projects/census/4225-domestic-violence-counts-census-2013-report.html
Futures Without Violence – Fact Sheets