Thursday, October 6, 2011

Observing DVAM as a survivor

Throughout October, UW-PAVE will host a number of events for Domestic Violence Awareness Month. For many in the campus community, these events will truly bring them awareness about an issue that has long been called a "silent epidemic." But for those of us who are plenty aware of the current pervasiveness of domestic, dating and intimate partner violence--whether through prevention work, as survivors ourselves or both--this month can be both an energizing and personally trying time. I have met so many people like me who have become advocates because our own DV experiences, wanting to take an active role in helping end the cycle. But during DVAM, and really every other month of the year, we cannot advocate for others until we advocate for ourselves. To that end, I highly recommend the book "Trauma Stewardship: An Everyday Guide To Caring For Self While Caring For Others" by Laura van Dernoot Lipsky. This text has been making its rounds in social work offices across the country since its 2010 publication (it was gifted to me by a facilitator from the Seattle-based non-profit The NW Network of LGBTQ Survivors of Abuse last year). Lipsky helps "anyone who interacts with the suffering, pain and crisis of others or our planet" empower themselves to find healthy paths of response to these daily interactions. "Trauma Stewardship" can be found at most bookstores and libraries, so do yourself a favor and check it out. Take care PAVEers!

In solidarity,