The Human Thing To Do (for National Blog Action Day)

(PHOTO: Tunisia Live)

In the spirit of Blog Action Day, a friend challenged me and a few others to join bloggers around the world in raising awareness about a single subject.

The premise hasn’t changed since this free annual event started in 2007. The goal is that what we post will start positive global discussions about an annually assigned topic and urge support for advocacy groups whose work coincides with that issue.

This year’s topic, “Human Rights,” is right on time with 800,000 federal workers out of a job because of a congressional showdown between the President and Tea Party Republicans. But I don’t want to tear House Speaker John Boehner a new one for not reigning in his “Young Guns”.

I don’t want to talk about how those loose canons are holding middle class families for ransom, how they hope the President and Senate Democrats cave so they can delay or de-fund Obamacare, attempting to tarnish the President’s legacy. I don’t want to talk about those human rights violations, with Congress so close to a deal.

I do want to talk about an email I received this morning about 46 women fatally shot every month by domestic abusers. That’s the issue that hits even closer to home with me — someone who admires his wife’s brilliance, his mom’s big heart and quiet wisdom, his sister’s strong spirit and his adorable 4-year-old niece’s inquisitive nature (“Uncle, what’s that?”).

This issue is also on-time with October being Domestic Violence Awareness month. This year, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a bipartisan coalition of more than 1,000 mayors, got a petition going to toughen gun laws that make it difficult for dangerous people, including violent partners, to buy weapons.

I wholeheartedly agree with this coalition’s efforts to stop what former Congressman Mark Green considered a threat to national security. “If the numbers we see in domestic violence were applied to terrorism or gang violence, the entire country would be up in arms,” Green once said. “It would be the lead story on the news every night.”

(PHOTO: unknown on Flickr)

Right now, the lead story is the government shutdown, which is nowhere as pricey as domestic abuse services that include health care and counseling, along with social and welfare programs.

The Advocates for Human Rights did some additional calculating in their 2011 report, including the cost of “police and criminal justice services, legal services, transportation costs, and housing and other refuge services used by victims of domestic violence and special education services used to treat children of abused women.”

The advocacy group found that healthcare services, alone, for abused victims was $4.1 billion, according to figures from1995. That the government shutdown — which doesn’t occur often — gets more news ink and TV time than violence against women — which recent stats show is prevalent enough to victimize one in four at some point in her life — says a lot about where women’s rights fall on our priorities. Additionally, consider the irony of domestic abuse awareness kept to a whisper during its dedicated month.

But what do you expect from elected officials who, during last year’s General Election, tried to redefine rape and tell women what to do with their bodies. Those oppressive behaviors would disgust even a Republican tycoon like Leland Stanford. To hear him tell it, “Women having to suffer the burdens of society and government should have their equal rights in it.”

That’s why advocacy groups like Mayors Against Illegal Guns are important. We can do our part to promote human solidarity by adding our names to a petition “demanding action to end gun violence.” There are also other groups working on behalf of battered women such as American Bar Association Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence, Battered Women’s Justice Project, Child Welfare League of America, and Equality Now, to name a few.

Here’s a full list of standout groups stopping domestic abuse. Let’s do our part to discuss a human issue. It’s a step in the right direction, according to actress and filmmaker Salma Hayek. “If you give me any problem in America I can trace it down to domestic violence,” Hayek once said. “It is the cradle of most of the problems, economic, psychological, educational.”

12 thoughts on “The Human Thing To Do (for National Blog Action Day)

  1. “If the numbers we see in domestic violence were applied to terrorism or gang violence, the entire country would be up in arms, and it would be the lead story on the news every night.” ~ Rep. Mark Green, Wisconsin

    Download “I Trusted Him: The Story of Anna Lynn Hurd” available now at, and start a conversation about it below in the comments below, or leave your thoughts about the book for the author on the books page. Thank you,Alan, for your support and spreading Anna’s message.

  2. Greetings my Brotha!

    If you will permit me…I shall take a different approach to this matter.

    In 2012 I left a Government position with the Department of Homeland Security, in 2011 – 2012 we were facing the same threat of a Government shutdown, unless Congress approved Raising the Debt Ceiling. My position was so crucial to Homeland Security that if the Government shutdown, we were still required to report to work whether we would be paid or not, otherwise we would be considered to be AWOL.

    The unfortunate ugly truth is: our Nation is in serious DEBT! I understood at that time that Raising the Debt Ceiling was only prolonging the inevitable!

    The erroneous idea that raising the level of the amount of debt at which a country will operate from as the solution to its debt problem is absolute stupidity and economic suicide! To get your house in order while we are in peaceable times is best as opposed to waiting until there is an economic meltdown at a time when Defense and everybody else needs Revenue!

    In order to solve a debt problem, one has to first stop spending above what is the absolute necessity of everyday survival; then there has to be cuts made even in what they think is necessary; finally there has to be set in order a plan of eliminating the debt by repayment. Followed by common sense and self discipline to not over spend again!

    The other unfortunate ugly truth is with this shutdown, the general public has become aware of just how many American and Foreign citizens are depending upon our Government for everyday existence. This should not be the case…we are not that rich!

    I fear we are slowly but surely becoming a Nation of Communism, losing our Capitalistic status. Government assistance is needful in some areas certainly, but to the tune of a shutdown affecting this much of society is very disturbing.

    At best, this shutdown will save the Nation monetarily, but only if it picks up from the point of restoration as opposed to paying what was lost to citizens during the shutdown.

    Let’s face it people, America is in TROUBLE! And it is not just the debt problem of the Government, it is also the debt problem of families and individuals living above their means off credit and credit cards…if you keep raising your debt ceiling you are going to be jumping out of windows pretty soon for sure!

  3. Hi Alan, A very thought provoking post indeed. While agreeing to all that you’ve said, I would like to opine that the issue of Human rights should also be viewed in the light of contemporary human values. Over the years we’ve seen these values evolve. Especially in the last decade of IT and telecom revolution, so much has changed in the way we looked at so many things. Money was always important for the top 1% of the world including those who created the monster of slave trade. It is important for them today. But of late, I feel that the middle income group too has by and large stopped looking beyond money. Over the last three generations, there seems to be a gradual decline in the quality of value system handed down by each generation to the next generation. No doubt it’s extremely important to fight the menace of human abuse by supporting the victims. But stronger value system on the part of the media, the politicians, the corporate as well people like me can help in prevention of such abuse. I once again appreciate your effort.

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