Friday, March 6, 2015

THE GOOD SHEPHERD DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SHELTER



 
AGAVE AND SUCCULENT AT THE MAGIC HOUR...

For this week's arts and culture column I interviewed the sisters at the The Good Shepherd Domestic Violence Shelter.

The Sisters of the Good Shepherd were originally founded in 1641 in France to help prostituted women and are now serving in 72 countries.

“Almost all of our work — worldwide — is with women and children, most of whom have been abused or exploited in some way — trafficking victims, runaways, domestic violence. One in three women worldwide will be abused at some point in her lifetime,” said Sister Anne Kelley, executive director of the Good Shepherd Shelter in Los Angeles, adding that close to 98% of prostituted women were sexually abused as children.

The sisters have been serving in Los Angeles for 111 years. Initially they cared for abused children and runaways but changed their program in 1977 to serve mothers and children who were victims of domestic violence. The Sisters saw from the beginning that the way to stem the violence was to change the home. Good Shepherd Shelter was one of the first of three in the whole country for victims of domestic violence.

“These guys are very charming,” Sister Anne explains of the batterers. “That’s how they get the girl in the first place. Then they get possessive. It’s not about anger. It’s about control.”

READ THE WHOLE PIECE HERE.

BOTTLE BRUSH


2 comments:

  1. This is an extremely touching piece, Heather. Thank you.
    Kirk

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  2. What beautiful succulents!

    I share office space with a program designed to protect, offer advocacy, and meet the needs of those who have experienced domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking violence. Things we note on a daily basis is that yes, indeed, those who perpetrate violence onto others are not acting out of anger, but of a desire for control, and those who've been victimized by a partner often return to their abusive partner many times before they finally leave the situation for good (I want to say the average is leaving/returning twelve times before the final move is made). That's often due to the charm the perpetrators demonstrate (and yes, sometimes threats or harm). And, as the Sisters of The Good Shepard pointed out of prostituted women: they've been abused as children, and either know no better, or do not believe they deserve anything healthier, safer, or more stable than the abuse. Advocacy is hard work. It is sad work. It is work that seems to have no end. But, oh, may there be an end to this madness!

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