Love Shouldn’t Hurt
Just prior to my wedding, one of my younger brothers pulled me aside.
If PC ever does anything to hurt you, you let us know. We’ll take care of you.
I found the exchange particularly endearing as my brother was rather young. The image of him protecting me was just a little funny given that, at the time, he would not even have qualified as a “90-pound weakling,” as ZaydeGiraffe was wont to say.
I don’t know what moved him to make the comment. PC had never shown any violence towards me. Perhaps it was just a natural inclination; to protect one’s sister.
How fortunate I am to have siblings who would protect, defend, shelter me. And how blessed I am to have a life-partner who doesn’t turn to violence as a way of exerting power.
Every day, as I am safe and content in my home and my relationship, there are women whose lives are threatened by acts of violence. Not by strangers, mind you. But by those who purport to love them. Considered a serious public health concern, the Centers for Disease Control & Protection (CDC) defines Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) as the “physical, sexual, or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse. This type of violence can occur among heterosexual or same-sex couples and does not require sexual intimacy.”
Two weeks from today, most of us will fete our mothers with brunch, gifts, and homemade cards. We call that day “Mothers’ Day.” Two weeks from today, like any other day, forty-thousand women and children will be in a battered women’s shelter. Safe. But not celebrating. Several years ago, Jewish Women International (JWI) created a program to honour these women. Through the annual Mother’s Day Flower Project, JWI with OPI Products, Inc. and Papyrus will send bouquets of flowers and beauty to 200 shelters across the United States.
“The roses that come to us from Jewish Women International are a beautiful sign that they are cared about, that someone recognizes them as special and that they are not forgotten. For some it may be the first time they have been honored on Mother’s Day. There is something about the beauty of a flower that is so touching to the senses and in its own way helps to revive the spirit. We are grateful to be recipients of this gift of hope.”
-Ann Marie Bartlett, Residential Program Manager at the Cornerstone Shelter in Bloomington, MN, 2010 Flower Project Recipient
By participating in the Mother’s Day Flower project, you can provide hope for these families on this special day, and everyday, through initiatives, supported by Flower Project proceeds, that work to educate communities, empower women and break the cycle of abuse.
Please consider honouring the mothers in your life with this act of tzedakah.