By Christine Murray, See the Triumph Co-Founder
In this video’s interview with Fred Rogers, he says, “If you look for the helpers, you’ll know that there’s hope.” Today, on Thanksgiving, we at See the Triumph give thanks for all the helpers who work day in and day out to prevent intimate partner and sexual violence, as well as to support victims, survivors, and their children and hold offenders accountable.
Unfortunately, intimate partner and sexual violence are so deeply ingrained into virtually every culture around the world that putting an end to these epidemics is a huge task that is likely to take generations to achieve. And so, just as Mr. Rogers said early in the video clip, it’s easy to become devastated when we hear of each new tragedy of violence that occurs. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of the problem.
And yet, I know that there is hope because I look around each day and see so many people and organizations working hard to end violence. The work is not easy. For those who provide direct services to clients, resources are often scarce and nowhere near enough to provide the full spectrum of help that so many clients need. Clients are often in a state of crisis, which can mean that their circumstances are unpredictable and carry significant safety risks. Hearing clients’ traumatic stories day after day can be traumatic for professionals as well, and there has been growing recognition of the impact of secondary traumatic stress on professionals.
Advocacy organizations, such as state coalitions and national organizations, such as the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the National Network to End Domestic Violence, and RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), to name just a few, work tirelessly to advocate to make sure that these issues remain on the national political agenda. They also work to educate the public, a huge task considering the significant stigma surrounding intimate partner and sexual violence.
And so, today on this day of Thanksgiving, we pause to thank the helpers. Thank you for your dedication. Thank you for caring so much for survivors that you apply your talents in work settings that are often less than ideal. Thank you for innovating and coming up with novel approaches to working toward ending violence. Above all, thank you for the hope that you inspire, on an individual level and to our society, that we will one day end the violence and create a safe and peaceful world.