We all seem to have this fixation of being number one and I am not saying that is wrong.
However, there are certain areas that we should not be proud to be near the top of a chart. One of those areas is this: we have the distinction of being number two in the nation for the highest death rate of women dying by the hands of men. This causes me to ask the question: “How are we going to respond to this problem?”
We have always been a nation that if we decided to address a problem, we could solve anything. The abuse of any people cannot be condoned. We simply cannot turn our backs and refuse to get involved.
Fortunately, there are those in our area that recognized the problems associated with the abuse of women, and their children, as early as 1972. Naturally, any new concept takes time to get started; however, in July 1981, Sistercare Inc. was established. This organization offers shelter to battered women and their children. These broken families’ needs are many: food, clothing, shelter and counseling.
Sistercare has grown to three shelters and offers counseling at satellite offices in Newberry, Fairfield, and Kershaw counties. In one year, Sistercare provided shelter for 742 battered women and their children.
They responded to 3,000 crisis calls, even offered 257 training programs to 9,109 audience members. However, the one statistic that should cause you to open your purse strings is this: Sistercare was forced to turn away 62 battered women and their children because they lacked the space and resources to help them.
If you will take a few minutes to investigate this major problem, I am certain you will be just as shocked and spurred to action as I was.
So, how can we get involved? You can start by attending a Sistercare meeting in Newberry on Tuesday at the home of George and Agnes Routon, located at 2016 Main St., Newberry at 6:30 p.m. where you will hear firsthand from Sistercare.
If we all get involved, you will never regret your actions of making the decision to be a part of Sistercare, Inc.
Personally, as I became involved, I learned things like:
• One of every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.
• Boys who witness abuse are twice as likely to abuse their own partners and children when they become adults.
• Women are five to eight times more likely to be victimized by an intimate partner.
• Women of all races are equally vulnerable to violence by an intimate partner.
• 25 percent of women who are beaten are pregnant.
If these statistics don’t spur you to action.
If you care, call the Newberry County Chamber of Commerce and talk to Liz, Michelle, or me.
Refuse to just sit on the sidelines; get involved. Call 276-4274.