Sunday, December 12, 2021

Change Must Happen


It’s another one of those days on Twitter. Everyone seems to want to share the one lurid story to increase their social media engagement. Murder for the clicks. I’m not sure I will ever adjust to that. In case you had not heard, this is the story I’m referring to. You should not feel obliged to click on the link.

Police: Man fatally shot ex-girlfriend in Baltimore before killing ex-wife and himself in Columbia, broadcast his intentions on Facebook video, Justin Fenton and Alex Mann for the Baltimore Sun

Multiple tweets on the same story shout out to me like old-school “newsies” calling from street corners to sell their papers. I put my head down and keep scrolling. Reading it once is enough, thank you.

This is a story which involves broken relationships, divorce, and custody issues. That is what we know so far. And anyone who has lived through these things in some way is bound to have a very personal reaction.

I know I do.

I had to sit a minute to let my own memories and emotions fall away as I contemplated how to respond to this story. After some thought, I’ve decided that the best thing I can do today is to refer my readers to HopeWorks.

What is HopeWorks? Their mission:

At HopeWorks our mission is to support and advocate for people in Howard County affected by sexual and intimate partner violence and engage the community in creating the change required for violence prevention.

Take a moment to investigate their website. You may be thinking that sexual and intimate partner violence is never going to happen to you. We all wish that could be the case for everyone. But the truth it that it’s likely that it has touched or will touch someone you know. A coworker, a friend, someone in your family. These are uncomfortable issues that most of us don’t really want to talk about.

Imagine how yesterday’s story might have turned out if any of the parties involved had been able to get meaningful help. And that might have begun as simply as having someone in their lives who was willing to talk.

HopeWorks has a multi-pronged approach to serving the community. Some examples you can investigate on their website:

  • Prevention Education Workshops and Trainings
  • Outreach and Awareness
  • The Our Voice Project: Survivor Wellness and Leadership
  • Youth Leadership Project
  • Self-Care and Social Justice Projects

HopeWorks maintains a 24-hour sexual, dating, and domestic violence helpline: 410-997-2272.

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