Guest post by: Meg Gordy, HAVEN Board of Directors, Secretary
After spending 15 years in corporate banking, I chose to stay home with my newborn son. I am blessed to have been able to make this decision. Not only had I earned a good living, I had a loving and supportive husband who helped make this possible. Not everyone has that.
But what was I to do with the unexpected and unpredictable openings in my day? A friend introduced me to HAVEN. Suddenly, I found myself helping with the annual fundraiser and dragging my toddler to meetings where he played in the playroom at HAVEN’s offices. Why HAVEN? Well, of course, having a friend introduce me got the ball rolling. Eight years later I still support HAVEN. The statistics tell you that one in three women will experience domestic violence. It almost seems unreal. You think “not in my family, not in my circle of friends, not in my community.” But you’re wrong. And the very existence of domestic and sexual violence is wrong. And it’s happened and continues to happen to people you know.
Giving, whether it’s your money or your time, is a very personal thing. People connect with what touches their heart. I could just as easily write about supporting my church, cancer research, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, animal cruelty or the numerous worthy causes that deeply touch my heart. But what touched my heart and keeps me supporting HAVEN was something my son said years ago. We had left a meeting at HAVEN and he asked me what exactly do they do. He was four years old. In the simplest terms I could find I explained that sometimes dads hit and hurt moms and HAVEN helps the moms and their kids. He looked at me in utter bewilderment and said, “Why would anyone ever hit someone they love?”
We should all be bewildered by the very idea of domestic and sexual violence. Sometimes it just takes a four year old to put it into perspective.
For information on how you can play an active role in ending domestic and sexual violence, visit www.haven-oakland.org.