Commit to Listening (September 2021 Newsletter)

Dear Friends,

Domestic Violence Awareness Month begins on Friday. Over the years, we have approached domestic violence awareness – and action – in many different ways, but they were all rooted in the same premise: we are going to share our awareness, wisdom, and experience with you.

In the past several months, I’ve had the opportunity to listen to survivors whose stories haven’t always gotten the attention they should. Women who have been incarcerated. Families who have been involved with the child welfare system. People whose beliefs and experiences are very, very different than the narrative that predominates in our culture and even in our sector.

Truth be told, it was humbling. It was also embarrassing to realize how easy it is to “raise awareness” by talking but without making time for truly listening.

So this Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I commit to listening. The more we make space to hear from survivors – those whose stories don’t make headlines or don’t fit the narrative we want to tell — the more aware we will all be.

I hope you will consider sharing your story with us. We will use it to grow our own awareness and we may use non-identifying parts to help grow community awareness.

If you’d prefer not to share your story, but want to help us amplify others’, please consider making a donation. Your contribution will support our work on behalf of survivors this Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and all year long.


Margaret R. Duval
Executive Director
Ascend Justice

To read our September newsletter in its entirety, please click here.