Friday, July 31, 2009
I was invited by the founder, Alexis Moore, to become a member of the Yahoo group "Crime Victim Organization Network" several months ago and did so. The description of the group is:
"The mission of Crime Victim Organization Network (CVON) is to create a forum for crime victim service providers across the nation to collaborate. CVON should be utilized by victim advocates, law enforcement, prosecutors, non-profit crime victim organizations and attorneys to share information and to network with other agencies to help serve the best needs of the victims that they serve.This group is an open forum that allows the sharing of information regarding all issues pertaining to public safety and serving victims of crime. "
I have communicated with Alexis off and on and have respect for the work she does. She is excellent when it comes to promoting. I became perplexed about some of the things she and a few others had published on the web, most recently stating that they were happy funding to DV programs was cut. When Debby Tucker of the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence posted (on CVON) the NCADV postion paper on the devastating budget cuts in California ( http://www.ncadv.org/files/CA%20Budget%20Cuts.php ), which I hope the majority of advocates fully support, I expressed my concern about those that do not with this post:
"Am I to understand that the founder and moderator of this Yahoo group thinks the funding cuts are a good thing?
If this group of domestic violence victims (Survivors in Action) had negative experiences with service providers then those individual experiences should absolutely be addressed and rectified however for every person who has had a bad experience, whether real or perceived, there are thousands who have had positive, life-changing experiences. I can attest to this personally.
If this group is discouraging victims to seek assistance through shelters and other service providers they are visiting their own trauma on the lives of others. What are they suggesting the solution is? Are they saying that their group, Survivors in Action, is more ethical, qualified and effective than all the established programs? What are their qualifications and who is monitering them?
There is always room for improvement, growth and change in any sector of society whether it's medical, criminal justice, political, etc. The domestic violence movement is responsible for improving the lives of countless victims through individual advocacy and systems change and it continues to advance and improve. It appears the suggestion is that all the accomplishments and lives saved should be discredited to focus on a small percentage of individuals have had bad experiences. It also appears that they are saying the thousands of sister survivors who have healed and now are employed in domestic violence agencies should lose their jobs.This attitude is destructive and throwing the baby out with the bathwater, in my opinion.
My post was published momentarily but then suddenly disappeared after which I was uncermoniously booted from the internet group. This is Alexis' right, as she is the monitor of the group. I have refused to publish comments on my blog in the past, not because someone disagreed or questioned me, but because they were abusive or obscene. I am saddened that there is such a division between those who advocate for victims of violence but I will continue to "call 'em as I see em" and expect those that disagree will do the same.
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