Whether it is domestic violence, child abuse, elderly abuse, or sexual assault, I am so proud that our community, here in Forsyth County, has boldly open the door on the subject, conversation, and discussion of abuse and is now making headway in preparations to walk through the door to change the trajectory of many lives for the better, not only to decrease abuse and save lives, but change how we view abuse. A huge step to a process that will begin healing our community from the inside out. Although, we are quite optimistic about all this excitement, let us not move to fast on the dance floor, doing the happy dance because we have just begun to peel back the first layer of the onion. Abuse, especially domestic violence have been such a taboo, in our community, society, and world, that has had the stamp of approval for shame and guilt. While bullied into silence as if it was branded upon our minds for many to turn a blind eye, fall on death ears, and zip our lips. Enduring generational curses, passed on abuse, from one generation to the next, filled with brokenness, secrets and lies. Children made to bear hidden childhood traumas, seamlessly, transported into adulthood life, spreading like wildfire, without a clear understanding as to how we got here.
So, how do we go from here to there is the question our community is beginning to embark upon? Our own Forsyth County Family Justice Center, seems to be a relative answer to such, an in depth question, hopefully, for awarding solutions to gain knowledge and kindness to enlighten our community. Because without hope what do we really have?
For the past two days, hope is not the only thing we have been hanging on to, but we have taken our first action steps to begin the strategic planning process for our own Forsyth County Family Justice Center (FJC). A one-stop shop for victims of abuse; goal oriented, as a friendly and peaceful welcoming atmosphere, without judgement, by providing a variety of services from a collaborative effort of many agencies with the best interest of the victim, as our priority. United, in the "power of we," many agencies, over 100 people, has joined forces collaborating in preparation of manifestation for greater with the guided leadership of Casey Gwinn and Gael Strack expertise, in creating our own Family Justice Center. With core concentration strategic planning, focused on, Governance and Facilities, Operations and Service Delivery, Community Education and Outreach, and Fundraising and Sustainability. During these past two days, we have been knee deep, split into groups, with respect to each others input and opinions. As we were challenged to identify goals, measurable objectives, and actions, with strategies to break through barriers of dilemmas, pros and cons, as team players, in order to map out the framework for the start of the legwork.
Kudos to Family Services, Inc. for taking the lead and the leap of faith to pioneer such a huge project for our community.
The Family Justice Center will be a huge game changer for our community; therefore, we need as many people in the game as possible, playing their position and making strategic moves to win the game. As we move forward, we know there will be many challenges ahead of us. However, we know that hope is still very much alive and well, in our community to make a significant and positive impact because only we, can make the change to be the change, most of us desire.
Special thanks to Galilee Missionary Baptist Church for graciously hosting with such great hospitality.
Domestic violence has become a very intricate part of my life since the death of my sister, Cheryl A. Bethea, after she so senseless lost her life to domestic violence 5 years ago. Dealing with grief and pain, to be honest, initially, "I DID NOT" desire to get engaged with domestic violence. However, as I begin, storytelling, "I speak for Cheryl" to "Sound the Silence in Domestic Violence", speaking throughout our community, my pain has turned into purpose. I begin to understand the importance of her voice and the dangers of being silent due to the shame and stigma associated with the domestic violence community. So, I am quite honored and I do not take this lightly for this opportunity to have a voice in the Domestic Violence Survivor Forum and serve on the Family Justice Steering Committee.
"It is through our stories and voices that victims can become survivors."
~Sound the Silence in Domestic Violence