7 Ways To Stop Violence
How Can We Stop Violence?
October was National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, but awareness and activism to stop violence and to educate needs to be more than one month out of a year.
So, how can we stop violence? Is that even possible? How can one person make a difference?
Those questions were all asked and addressed on TD Jakes Town Meeting Against Violence. The hour long program included former gang members, victims of violence, those who had grown up in the projects, educators, politicians, community leaders, single mothers and fathers, and church leaders.
Facts Talked About On This Program:
-Violence begins at home: in our words, our actions, and what we watch/listen to
-Kids and Teens who watch more violence on TV tend to be more violent
-Gang Members can be any age
-Children as young as 7 years old are used to keep watch for police and others (their pay is a new pair of sneakers/or something else they need that their single mom cannot afford)
-$50 can buy anyone a gun in a drug infested community
-Guns we buy to protect our families are stolen out of cars by gang members and used to kill
-Acts of Violence occur every 7 seconds in the USA
-Poverty and lack of fathers in families causes kids to turn to gang violence and selling drugs
-Church and Faith is what has brought healing and deliverance to violence
7 Ways to Stop Violence
1. Be Proactive
When asked what we could do to stop violence, one person in the panel said, “Anything is better than what you’re doing now.”
2. Be A Mentor
When a pastor was asked what he thought pastors should be doing to be proactive, he said, “Pastor the community, not just a church.” He also noted, “Not just pastors, but everyone needs to be active in their community.”
3. Be Real
One politician who was passionate about helping the youth in the community put this huge free youth event together. He put flyers on doors all over the community and did all the footwork, yet a week later those flyers were still where he put them. “Most young people today are more interested in reality TV,” he said. “If we want to reach people, we have to be real with them and connect with them.”
4. Be an Example
It was expressed over the course of this program that parents today do not know how to disagree without yelling curse words, hitting, and slapping. Aside from that, they are watching TV shows that are violent in nature or allowing their children to. “Children learn far more by seeing, than they do by hearing,” one member pointed out.
As they discussed families, they spoke about single mom’s acting as though they could do it all. But they cannot be a dad to their child(ren). And often, single mom’s struggle financially and emotionally. In one community they addressed had only 25 fathers in the family out of 3,000. Most families in that community also only had a yearly income of just $3,000. “Paying child support is not being a father,” one member said. “Time, love, and affection are what your child needs.”
One lady told her story. “I grew up in the projects. I had a baby at 12. Thankfully, I got out because I turned the church and those women showed me what to do.” Her child is now in a good college because of the prayers and support of those who did something.
6. Get Back to the Basics
TD Jakes listened to everyone speak and then summed it up, “Basically everyone is saying the same thing we need discipline, structure and faith. I’m not saying, you are all saying that the church is what has helped the most. So we have to get back to the basics and fight for the institutions that are fighting for us.”
Everyone on the panel spoke about how the American people can do something, but choose not to. “They can write letters to congress to change things, call, and vote,” a community leader challenged. “Only half the people are registered to vote and only half that are registered vote.”
"On some of these issues, sadly, even though I’m a strong abuse advocate, I’m guilty and have fallen short. I ask for your forgiveness and hope in the future to do more to bring about the change America needs to stop the violence. I ask that you would join me in this fight."
Lisa Freeman is a Motivational Speaker, Abuse Survivor, and Bully expert from Owosso, Michigan. She is also an Award-Winning Author, AKC Dog Trainer, and Certified Pet Therapist. She empowers children, teens, and families through educational assemblies and workshops in schools, churches and communities. Contact Lisa