On Monday July 28 DVRC hosted another of our powerful ‘In Her Shoes’ program. Almost a dozen participants, including judges, lawyers, and local community leaders, spent several hours at the DVRC Office, facing the difficult decisions someone experiencing an abusive relationship must make, as well as the ramifications of those decisions. The program gave the participants a glimpse into the struggles of someone experiencing an abusive relationship, and the role of a community in addressing this issue.
The scenarios in In Her Shoes are based on true stories―the real-life experiences of women with abusive partners. At DVRC we are aware that these same experiences also happen to men although they are not featured in the program. In Her Shoes is a simulation to help participants understand, in a very compressed period of time, the ups and downs that victims of domestic violence experience over the course of many years.
The goals of the program are to increase awareness of the struggles that victims with abusive partners face; to illustrate that domestic violence is a community tragedy, not a private problem; to show that we all have a role in the movement to end domestic violence. Many social workers, politicians, and police are already familiar with their role. In Her Shoes illustrates that there’s a role, as well, for office workers, hairdressers, church-goers, and relatives, in understanding and solving this issue. We hope the program will encourage participants to think creatively about the ways we can work to end domestic violence.
Victims of domestic violence constantly try to keep safe, but many institutions, systems and people make it difficult. By the end of the program we hope that everyone who attends will have a better understanding of the struggle that victims face daily and will join us in our mission to end domestic violence in Saratoga County.