Tuesday, July 24, 2012

What Can You Do to Offer Hope?

Please welcome today's guest blogger, Dora Hiers of the Carolina Christian Writers.

Hope …

Believing and trusting in a positive outcome. Anticipation for something great.

Hope means something different to each individual. To a football player, hope is scoring a winning touchdown. To a small child, it may mean garnering the praise of a parent. To a young mother, hope means that her child will grow healthy and strong. To a newly married couple, it may represent a long life together. To a cancer patient, hope takes wings for healing. To a person who has just lost their job, hope means finding another one before their savings runs out.

But, what about a battered woman, a victim of an endless cycle of spousal abuse? Sometimes the abuse is physical, but it could also be psychological, financial, or even sexual. What hope does she have? For her, hope seems forever lost, unattainable, always just out of reach.

Did you know:

  • Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women in the United States - greater than car accidents and muggings combined.
  • A woman is battered every 15 seconds in the United States.
  • Between 85%-95% of domestic violence victims are women.
  • The health related costs of domestic violence exceed $5.8 billion each year.
  • Approximately 1 in 3 adolescent girls in the United States is a victim of physical, emotional or verbal abuse in a dating relationship
  • On average 3 to 4 women are killed every day by their husbands or partners.

(Stats taken from: CVAN: What is Domestic Violence?)

Abused women can find refuge, a place of hope. Cabarrus Victims Assistance Networks (CVAN) provides a safe shelter for battered women. In 2011, CVAN provided safety, shelter and support to almost 1,400 battered women and their children.

To a resident of CVAN, hope means a safe and comfortable environment for a mother and her children, one where she doesn’t continually have to look over her shoulder, where she can get her first good night’s sleep, without worry or fear. It’s a place to release the guilt and break free from the pattern of coercive control. It’s a place where the sound of yelling or the impact of a fist fades over time. Hope is finding confidence, empowerment, and a renewal of identity. It’s a place where she’ll find support, encouragement, and legal advocacy. Where she’ll hear the sound of her children’s laughter again.

On Saturday, July 14, the Carolina Christian Writers (CCW), a local chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers, came together at the K-Mart in Concord to provide a glimmer of hope for the residents of CVAN. Seven authors sold and signed books, but CCW’s primary purpose was to bring awareness and inform people about CVAN. A list of CVAN’s needs, simple everyday items like paper towels and cleaning products, was distributed. Shoppers purchased enough items to fill the back of an SUV, and others donated funds to supplement CVAN’s needs.

Abuse is not limited to racial, social or economic borders. What if one of these battered women was your sister, your daughter’s best friend, or even your neighbor? What could you do to offer hope?

“Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.” ~Psalm 31:24 NIV

For more information on CVAN, click here. 24-Hour Hotline • 704.788.2826
For more information on Carolina Christian Writers, click here.

About the Author: After a successful auditing career, Dora Hiers left the corporate world to be a stay-at-home mom to her two sons. When her youngest son didn’t want her hanging out at school with him anymore, Dora started writing heart racing, God-gracing books. Dora belongs to the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the Carolina Christian Writers. Her first inspirational romance, Journey’s End, released with White Rose Publishing in 2011, and her second, Journey’s Edge released in March 2012. White Rose also contracted her third book in the Marshals of Journey Creek series, Journey’s Embrace, and her first short romance, Small Town Treasure. Dora and her husband make their home in Kannapolis, North Carolina. 

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Dora Hiers said...

Thank you for featuring CVAN today, Tracy! Our writers group shared fellowship and laughter, and raised awareness of such an awesome ministry at the same time. What an enjoyable day! Thanks for allowing us to participate in the Hope Tour!

Myra Johnson said...

An eye-opening post, Dora! And so glad I was able to be a part of the K-Mart event and witness our visitors' generous response to CVAN's wishlist.

Tracy, it's been a pleasure participating in the Hope Tour! Thanks for allowing Carolina Christian Writers to take part.

Sandra Ardoin said...

Awesome article, Dora. As the mother of a college-aged girl, that fifth statistic is enough to make me shudder.

We did have a great time at the booksigning.

Thanks for the Hope Tour idea, Tracy!

Unknown said...

Great article, so glad I was able to part of the Hope Tour!

Tracy Ruckman said...

Much thanks to all of you for your participation and hard work on this event. And also for your support of Hope Tour!