A local domestic violence shelter/prevention group is doing some great things with education and child development right now.
Artemis Center of Dayton, Ohio was already a great place for victims of domestic violence and their children. But their Spring newsletter has shown me how they take that extra step.
I have to applaud them first and foremost for their website.
Go ahead, Visit it briefly. You see that option? That safety net they so graciously offer you? They understand. They know the fear you have; the constantly looking over your shoulder. They don’t even want to judge you. They want to offer you an easy out. It’s okay to escape. This website is safe.
Today I’m more interested in their most recent newsletter however; as outlined on page 5 is what they are doing with children’s therapy.
(PDF version of the newsletter)
I find it interesting that they use the words “Mom” and “Father” to refer to “Keri’s” parents.
Word usage is a powerful thing and it was the first thing that struck me when I skimmed the article. I then read it more thoroughly and determined it is Keri’s mother (mom) who is attempting to try the hardest with her daughter. She wants to offer that structure that young children need almost as much as love.
It’s amazing how quickly the two parents are labeled in my mind as “good” and “bad” with that simple distinction of labels.
And I realize I do it myself. I refer to my dad as “father” in this blog frequently. It’s sort of interesting considering in real life, I usually refer to him as “Dad”. To his face is only “Dad”. He would assume I’d been replaced by aliens if I ever called him “Father” (he considers too “rich girl”) or “Daddy” (this too “daddy spoiled girl”; something he dislikes).
But on this safe space, far away from his prying eyes, I refer to him mostly at “father”.
And Mom is mom. She has always been Mom and I expect she will always be Mom. I don’t remember ever calling her anything else; both to her face and in passing reference to her.
I think it’s interesting what terms we use for parents and what connotations they represent. Something safe or unsafe.
And Artemis Center here, whether unintentionally or not, has led me to understand who the villain is in Keri’s story.
But the important thing is the story. And the happy ending it is heading towards. Through therapy and understanding, Keri is able to get what she needs to grow up with a good home and good development.
It’s great to see in a world where many are doing it so wrong; someone has stepped up to make sure it is done right.