Start your week with words of wisdom from these philanthropic individuals.
As we’re all here on earth together and we all have to do our part. Jana Sedlakova will explore how these shining stars make a difference.
Becky Lee, domestic violence lawyer and founder of Becky’s Fund
Ending and preventing domestic and dating violence through Becky’s Fund
Why is this cause so dear to you:
In 1999 while at the University of Michigan, I met my mentor, Andrea Lyon, who was a defense lawyer and spoke about defending battered women who were in prison for killing their abusers in self-defense. Many women had no resources, funds, nor support and felt as if they had no other choice but to kill their abusive partner to be able to live a life free from fear and abuse. I know that since I had never been affected by domestic violence, I have the freedom and ability to use my life and voice to speak out for many who cannot speak out in fear of retaliation from their abuser and abuser’s family/community. I decided then I wanted to work for this cause and support those affected and hurt by domestic and dating violence by going to law school to become a domestic violence lawyer.
Statistics say that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men are affected by domestic violence. However, we continue to blame the victim and ask questions like “why doesn’t she/he leave?” when the question should be “why does the abuser continue to get away with the abuse?” After seeing the need for more public support, programs to help teens and survivors deal with the abuse, and the critical lack of programming focused on prevention, I started Becky’s Fund in 2006 with my 3rd place earnings from the CBS reality show, Survivor.
During the last 7 years of Becky’s Fund, I have seen a shift in the community’s response to domestic violence and am grateful for the growing interest of people – men, women, politicians, teens take this issue more seriously. People are beginning to understand how domestic violence doesn’t discriminate, how this issue affects all races, socioeconomic levels, backgrounds and ages. Working with young men and athletes through Men of Code and our College Tour, we have been able to show the role and impact educating and empowering men has on helping more victims become survivors. Through our College tour and youth programs like “Becoming Your Own Heroine,” we have seen thousands of young women and men come forward to get help for an unhealthy relationship while being confident in reaching out to a friend who needs help. Through our Financial literacy and Direct Services program, we have helped hundreds of women and men get back on their feet and start a new life of no fear or self-doubt, pushing towards new goals of happiness, independence, and true self-worth.
Next noteworthy fundraiser:
2013 Walk This Way at the Italian Embassy on Nov. 8 – charity fashion show highlighting athletes walking the runway in support of ending domestic and dating violence.
What can others do to help:
Learn the warning signs and available resources to help someone in need. http://www.beckysfund.org/what-is-domestic-violence/
Listen without being judgmental when someone does come to ask you for help. Volunteer and Donate to Becky’s Fund so we can continue working directly with teens, men, and survivors of domestic violence. http://www.beckysfund.org/donate/
And of course, buy a ticket and/or become a sponsor for this year’s Walk This Way to support our current programs and outreach in the community! For more information about Becky’s Fund, please visit www.beckysfund.org.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” -Ganhdi
Let us know what you think!
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