22
Apr
08

Artemis Center for Alternatives to Domestic Violence

I imagine it may have happened like this.  It was 1985, and a few friends were sitting around a kitchen table, and for some reason the subject came up.  It could have been a sensational story in the paper, but I have a feeling it was more likely one of them had a loved one who was living with domestic violence.  She might have even been killed, it happens all of the time.  Human beings build barriers between ourselves and tragedies that are far away.  That way they don’t seem so real.  But when it happens close to home (or in your home), you can’t build a barrier against that.  It gets through, it gets in, and you have to deal with it.

So…the ladies were having a conversation, and the subject turned to what could they do to help.  Remember, this was the mid-80’s, and a lot of women still lived with domestic violence in silence.  There weren’t separate shelter’s for women (if there were, there weren’t enough).  If you left home, and you had no family, where was there to go??  You could call an agency, and they would tell you to leave, but they couldn’t answer “to where?”.  You couldn’t take your kids to a homeless shelter.  You had heard the stories, of beatings, rape, and even murder that happened there.  You couldn’t go to a friends house, they had their own problems, besides he would find you anyway.  No…it was better to stay where you were.  At least you knew where the “bad” was coming from here. 

Back to the friends… they talked about donating money, food, clothes.  Maybe they even did, at first.  But it didn’t feel like enough, not nearly enough.  There had to be something more that they could do. Somebody said something about getting organized, and offering to help people as they needed it.  Somebody else offered to set up in a spare bedroom, upstairs in her house.  How much room would they need anyway? Well then came the subject of a name.  They had to be called something. From somewhere came the name of “Artemis, the goddess protector of the vulnerable, of women and children”.

So that’s how the ‘Artemis Center’ was born (or my version anyway).  In the first six months, operating out of that upstairs office, they helped 151 women.  Over 20 years later, that number has grown to well over 60,000 from Dayton and the Miami Valley.   Yes, they offer food, clothes, basic necessities; but they also answer that question “where do I go, what do I do?”.  They help battered/abused women plan their next steps, they enable women to take control of their lives again.  Artemis also helps the children by providing therapy to help them deal with the things they have seen/experienced.  It is Artemis’ firm belief, that a child growing up with domestic violence, will in turn grow up to perpetuate that violence.  Artemis works to break the cycle.

Part of the resources that Artemis supplies its clients with, is a used-cell phone.  Even when a cellphone has been deactivated, it still has the ability to call 911.  That small, simple device can make  the difference between a happy ending or another tragedy.  How many of them are lying in a drawer in your house, along with the rest of the clutter? Serving no purpose, helping no one.  If you live in the Dayton/Miami Valley area please contact me to donate your phone.  You might just save a life.

 

 

 

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Jake and Jackson

my boys

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RSS Lucinda Williams

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live in Dayton, Ohio, in an historic neighborhood called South Park. have some of the wackiest friends and neighbors that I wouldn't change for the world

old rants/opinions/pontifications


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