September 21, 2014
In the days leading up to today the news has been full of professional football players, how violence plays out in their homes and our response has been outrage. Yet should it be when the same types of violence play out every day all around us?
Violence in our homes!
Our homes are to be places of safety, comfort, support, refuge, acceptance, fun, play and rest yet for many it is the last place they want to be. It is where they encountered violence for the first time and where violence become normalized and even accepted as necessary.
Too many of our children approach the front doors of their homes with trepidation and fear, watchful for the signs of stress, frustration, and anger from the people who love them. Alert for that moment when their home becomes a war zone, a private personal war that they cannot escape.
That moment when hands that gently wipe away tears from a nightmare turn into weapon of pain.
If we cannot create spaces of peace within our own four walls we will never do it on a global scale!
I vividly remember a friend at school telling the story of how an elderly neighbour would wait at her front door to beckon my friend over as she passed. The elderly neighbour would then tell her that there had been a great deal of yelling from her home and might my friend want to wait with the neighbour until her father got home. She never took the invitation but said she would walk around the block building up enough courage to cross the threshold because it was her home - it was her personal war zone.
As neighbours, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends we must find our voices and challenge the privacy the violence of the home. It can no longer be a space where private and deadly wars are fought.
The United Nations has designated today as the International Day of Peace let us start by bringing peace to the family home.