Posted by Noah Schectman

created at: 2011-02-28I had the privilege of growing up in a non-violent home. I have never experienced domestic violence first-hand. For those in the world who have been as lucky as I have, the horrors of domestic and dating violence that affect nearly one in four women in the United States can easily be underestimated and overlooked. Until recently, I had not seen myself as a potential advocate against domestic violence.

There are many issues that deserve our attention and support—homelessness, hunger, and education inequality, among others. There are two reasons I have not paid as much attention to domestic violence as I have to these other issues. The first and more superficial reason is that we are exposed on a daily basis in our communities and in the media to homelessness and hunger, whereas domestic violence happens behind closed doors. Although domestic violence is damaging and pervasive, because it happens outside our sightlines, it is easy to ignore. The second reason is that, unlike hunger, an experience I could imagine, I knew I could never fully understand a hurt as profound as domestic violence and what it would be like to walk in the shoes of a victim.

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