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"If I were really asked to define myself, I wouldn't start with race; I wouldn't start with blackness; I wouldn't start with gender; I wouldn't start with feminism. I would start with stripping down to what fundamentally informs my life, which is that I'm a seeker on the path. I think of feminism, and I think of anti-racist struggles as part of it. But where I stand spiritually is, steadfastly, on a path about love." -bell hooks
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The season of staying

I recently read a post on on the topic of what day of the year is domestic violence against women most prevalent. The post confirms that there isnít a particular day on which domestic violence is most likely to occur. However studies indicate there are times of year, seasons, particularly around major holidays when police dispatches for domestic violence significantly increase.

Other studies have noted increased rates of shelter intakes of women with children that can be linked to breaks in the school calendar summer vacation, Christmas vacation, spring break. Studies like this make note of when women fled their abusers not when the abuse that caused them to leave occurred.

The findings of these studies would indicate we are about to enter a season of staying; marked by the beginning of a new school year. We can all be alert to those around us who may need our encouragement, and support to increase safety within their family. We can reach out and offer hope that life can be better, more peaceful. We can support change if and when choices are made.

Those living in abusive situations must choose staying or going weighing various factors. Survivors juggle the building tensions; defusing, deflecting, and discharging the violence of their partners on a daily basis while weighing the decision to stay or go. The lives of their children and themselves and economic concerns are major considerations for those making the decision to stay or go. How to provide for the basic human needs of their family apart from their abusive partner will be one of the first hurdles to overcome. Economic issues are in the forefront of the choice to stay or go.

This time of year is also a season of politics. Voting is one means of exercising control in a life otherwise controlled by others.

Throughout the year we each can offer support to survivors. Survivors who are fleeing domestic violence, and those in a season of staying.


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