By Christine Murray, See the Triumph Co-Founder
This month, in honor of Mother’s Day (and Father’s Day coming up next month), we’re turning our attention to parenting. Specifically, we’re focusing on how people who work every day to address domestic and sexual violence think about parenting toward nonviolence, in light of the work they do.
One of our main goals with See the Triumph is to challenge the stigma surrounding abuse, and we believe that one of the best places for these conversations to begin is within families. Also, we know that often parents struggle with how to talk to their children about violence, how to raise their children to be nonviolent, and how to navigate representations of violence in the media.
Throughout this month, you’ll find blogs--including from some of our regular contributors, as well as several guest bloggers--in our series on parenting in a culture in which violence--and particularly intimate partner and sexual violence--are so prevalent. We invited contributions from people who have personal, professional, and volunteer experiences related to domestic and sexual violence, and also who are parents (with children of any age).
We know that children who experience violence in their home are at risk for a number of possible outcomes later in life. One place to learn more about these risks is through the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study. Of course, risks don't equal destiny, and there are many resources that can help children to develop resilience even in the face of serious challenges.
Children need safe, secure environments to grow up on. That's one of the reasons we've been honored to partner with the Stop Abuse Campaign, in that one of their main goals is to give children the right to a safe home to grow up in. Although often domestic violence and child maltreatment are spoken about as separate phenomena, these forms of violence often co-occur, often along with other issues like bullying and sexual assault.
In my own experience, I've found that it's impossible to completely separate the work that I do to address violence from my views on parenting. I spend a lot of time thinking about how to raise my children to be nonviolent, as well as about how violence in the world around them will impact their own lives and relationships.
And for those reasons, I'm so excited about our series this month! Stay tuned throughout the month to learn about how people who are engaged in violence prevention and response initiatives incorporate what they learn into their own views and experiences with parenting. We hope you'll share your own views on this subject with us, too!