When I first heard about recycling to help end domestic violence, I thought it must be a joke. But it’s for real. Read on!Trash Recycling with Disposal Containers (Photo credit: epSos.de)
Domestic Violence: Why Do Women Stay?
The Violence Against Women Act was a landmark victory when it was signed into law in 1994. Last month the U.S. Congress again made history, voting to sustain funding to the Domestic Violence Hotline and other services, as well as enhancing it with added protections for survivors. Yet, even with these support systems in place more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends each day in the United States. Statistics show 85% of women remain in a relationship where domestic violence has been reported. Why?
There are many factors that force victims to remain or return, including isolation, entrapment, coercive control, financial issues, lack of support and safely-accessible resources, as well as fear for their own lives and those of their loved ones. Yet there is also another important reason: “Like all mothers, victims of domestic violence do not want to be separated from their children,” said Cassandra Loch, President and CEO of Prototypes, a non-profit organization that serves 12,000 people annually. “In our experience, when law enforcement is contacted in a domestic violence situation, dual arrests are likely to take place, and the children are more likely to enter the foster care system. This is an important factor in mothers’ reluctance to contact the authorities when facing domestic violence.”
Witnessing violence in the home is the strongest risk factor for perpetuating the cycle. For example, boys who witness domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their own partners and children when they become adults.
How Can You Make a Difference?
You’ve been wanting to go green, right? Why not save the earth, women and families all at the same time? Send your old cell phones, ink cartridges, digital cameras and more to Recycle for Domestic Violence.
They’ll keep your old electronics out of the landfills and send money to the National Domestic Violence Hotline for it. It’s a win-win.
When you enroll in their recycling program, simply select the National Domestic Violence Hotline as your organization. Then, every time you send in recyclables, the organization gets money that allows them to continue helping teens, women and families to safety.