Believing and trusting in a positive outcome. Anticipation for something great.
Hope means something different to each individual. To a football player, hope is scoring a winning touchdown. To a small child, it may mean garnering the praise of a parent. To a young mother, hope means that her child will grow healthy and strong. To a newly married couple, it may represent a long life together. To a cancer patient, hope takes wings for healing. To a person who has just lost their job, hope means finding another one before their savings runs out.
But, what about a battered woman, a victim of an endless cycle of spousal abuse? Sometimes the abuse is physical, but it could also be psychological, financial, or even sexual. What hope does she have? For her, hope seems forever lost, unattainable, always just out of reach.
Did you know:
- Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women in the United States – greater than car accidents and muggings combined.
- A woman is battered every 15 seconds in the United States.
- Between 85%-95% of domestic violence victims are women.
- The health related costs of domestic violence exceed $5.8 billion each year.
- Approximately 1 in 3 adolescent girls in the United States is a victim of physical, emotional or verbal abuse in a dating relationship
- On average 3 to 4 women are killed every day by their husbands or partners.
(Stats taken from: http://cvan.org/WhatIsDV.aspx)
Abused women can find refuge, a place of hope. Cabarrus Victims Assistance Networks (CVAN) provides a safe shelter for battered women. In 2011, CVAN provided safety, shelter and support to almost 1,400 battered women and their children.
To a resident of CVAN, hope means a safe and comfortable environment for a mother and her children, one where she doesn’t continually have to look over her shoulder, where she can get her first good night’s sleep, without worry or fear. It’s a place to release the guilt and break free from the pattern of coercive control. It’s a place where the sound of yelling or the impact of a fist fades over time. Hope is finding confidence, empowerment, and a renewal of identity. It’s a place where she’ll find support, encouragement, and legal advocacy. Where she’ll hear the sound of her children’s laughter again.
On Saturday, July 14, the Carolina Christian Writers (CCW), a local chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers, came together at the K-Mart in Concord to provide a glimmer of hope for the residents of CVAN. Seven authors sold and signed books, but CCW’s primary purpose was to bring awareness and inform people about CVAN. A list of CVAN’s needs, simple everyday items like paper towels and cleaning products, was distributed. Shoppers purchased enough items to fill the back of an SUV, and others donated funds to supplement CVAN’s needs.
Abuse is not limited to racial, social or economic borders. What if one of these battered women was your sister, your daughter’s best friend, or even your neighbor? What could you do to offer hope?