Link to Speech This gentleman spoke about domestic abuse I felt was very moving.
Thanks for inviting me here this morning. As Gary said, I am the director of Spectrum Youth and Family Services, and when people think of Spectrum they think of our work right across the street, where we help homeless teenagers by providing them with shelter, food, education and job assistance. And when I tell people we also have staff in White River Junction, Bratteleboro, Bennington and Middlebury, and that they work in prisons and probation offices with men who have been convicted of battering, people are surprised. In fact I remember telling this to one person who replied, “And why is Spectrum involved in that?” And the answer is that the vast majority of those young people who come to us off the street seeking help grew up in families where there was domestic violence, where there was a man battering his wife and partner, and very likely battering his children as well. An estimated 50-70% of men who physically abuse their partner or wife and also doing the same to their children. So it is our belief that if we can get to these men, and help change their belief system, their way of thinking about women, we are in effect reducing the number of young people who will end up in the foster care system or homeless.
It was one of our domestic violence prevention workers, a female, who came to me after the terrible death of Michelle Gardner Quinn last year, and said, “You know what is disturbing about all the articles written on this? Everything is about how women need to make themselves safer. ‘If only Michelle Gardner Quinn had kept her phone charged. Women should always remember to charge their phone. A woman should not get separated from her friends. She should not walk back to UVM at night alone, and if she does, she should not talk to any man she does not already know.’ That kind of thing, which is fine, we do want to be safe, but what is missing is anyone saying or writing, ‘Why are so many men doing this? Why are so many men hurting and killing women in our state and in our country?’ That is the elephant in the room, and a man needs to write this and it should be you.”
The rest is worth the read!
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