This started as a blog about training together as a family, in part to inspire other women & families to get involved. As female participation in jiu jitsu has increased, as we have grown as athletes and as we learned that families training together aren’t such an anomaly, the blog has evolved. Jen gets personal with posts on ambition, challenges & achievements in BJJ, CrossFit & with nutrition, while Tom's posts are more educational, informative and analytical in regards to training. On occasion you may hear from the kids.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

October is DVAM

by Jen

Today officially marks the start of Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). This post is inspired by this awareness video produced by the Verizon Foundation. I will follow up with a secondary post that will better weave the topic with bjj training (as I see it anyway).

Statistics show that one in four women will be affected by domestic violence in her lifetime. Approximately one in three teens is a victim of physical, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner. Although the majority of victims are female, approximately 15% of all domestic violence victims are male.

I feel blessed to say that I am not one of these statistics. So why is the subject of domestic violence so important to me? My 7 years of work for a dv program gave me the privilege of meeting several “victors” over the violence in their lives. These inspirational women and men now dedicate themselves to speaking out for others. I have also come to know and love families who have lost their daughters at the hand of their abusers. To these individuals, and the countless others that domestic violence affects, I dedicate this post.

I believe it is important to start out by debunking some common dv myths.

  • Domestic abuse doesn’t discriminate. It happens in all income brackets, ethnicities and neighborhoods.

  • It is not easy for a victim to leave. She doesn’t stay because she likes the abuse. She may be in fear for her life. The most dangerous time in a relationship is when a victim decides to leave. He feels more threatened because he is losing control when she leaves.

  • Children who witness the abuse are also victims. They are more likely to become abused or abusers when they grow up.

  • Domestic violence is not about snapping. DV is about power and control over the victim. The abuse is calculated and intentional. Many batterers are charming and very likeable outside of their relationship. If they can control their behavior in public, why can’t they at home?

  • Domestic violence is not funny. What may seem like a small joke minimizes the fear and sorrow that a victim experiences.

  • Some bloggers have touched on the subject of domestic violence. Forgive me if I left anyone out. Please feel free to comment with your link if I did.

    Jodi of Combat Sports Review bravely opened up about her experience as a victor over the violence in her life. Read here

    Meg reflected on domestic violence after experiencing stares because of her bjj induced black eye. Read here

    A Skirt on the Mat also asked her readers to reflect and support the women who’s bruises come from the hands of their abusers instead of their time on the mat. Read here

    I compiled a few resources in case you or someone you know is being abused. If you are in fear for your life, please take heed of this internet and computer safety information before anything else.

    How to help a victim of abuse

    Ten signs of an abusive relationship

    Healthy relationship (This is great. I once met a woman who told me she posted this wheel in her room as a reminder to herself of what a healthy relationship looks like. It served as a "checklist" for her future relationships.)

    Love is not abuse– teen dating abuse information for teens and parents


    1. This is a really great post, Jenn. I am probably going to put up a link to it on my blog too, if you don't mind. thanks for sharing!!

    2. I would love it if you shared the post, Allie. The more who get this information, the better. Thanks.