You Have the Power to Make a Difference!

Photo of a banner with illustrations and words like "Charity" "Hope" "Give" "Help" and a person in a white shirt sitting in a chair next to it holding a pen

You Have the Power to Make a Difference!

This post was contributed by Grace Wickerson, NYAB member and founder of Kickin’ Violence

If you told me when I was a little kid that by age 18 I would be running a nonprofit that has impacted young people and domestic violence survivors across the United States and even around the world, I would have looked at you like you were crazy. Honestly, if you told me that when I started my organization, Kickin’ Violence, in August of 2013, I probably still wouldn’t have believed you.

Kickin’ Violence is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that seeks to inspire youth involvement in non-violence advocacy through education, service, technology and martial arts. We started as a small self-defense training program for girls. We have since expanded into a multi-dimensional organization that supports student action teams in schools in four states, influences state legislation for anti-violence education reform, creates care packages for domestic violence survivors across the country and around the world, and teaches kids to code solutions to alleviate violence. We do all of this with the philosophy “by youth, for youth,” because we believe that engaging youth at a peer-to-peer level is the key to creating a community rallied against violence – and soon, a future without violence.

I work towards this future because violence is an epidemic that ruins lives. Domestic violence statistics from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence show that one in three women and one in four men have been victims of some form of physical violence from an intimate partner in their lifetimes. If statistics aren’t something you can relate to, then a quick Google search of “domestic violence” yields a sobering amount of results.

Domestic violence thrives when nobody cares to look. When it exists behind closed doors, it becomes a “not my problem” kind of problem. It thrives off of traditional gender binaries, a world divided in two by hyper-masculinity and hyper-femininity. We encourage boys to be aggressive in order to get what they want. We tell girls that harassment or stalking “must mean he likes you.” Young people aren’t born violent. Violence is something that is learned and passed down from generation to generation. And when these behaviors are passed down as the “norm” and become ingrained, they can be difficult to reverse. What you end up with is another generation taught that violence is okay or even justified. How can we end domestic violence if violence is all we know?

That is the reason why I am so focused on youth, especially during Domestic Violence Awareness Month. It’s because they still have the power to change their own attitudes and behaviors and influence their peers. They have the ability to view unhealthy behaviors and say “No, that’s not okay,” or “No, you shouldn’t treat someone that way.” They have a willingness to take action and make a difference in the world. They have the drive to create a more respectful and peaceful future, and they only need the tools to do so.

So, if you’re someone who wants to take action this Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I encourage you to find a way to get involved – no matter where you live or how old you are. Look for opportunities in your community. You can also take part in Kickin’ Violence’s “Survivor Packs: Care Packages for Domestic Violence Survivors” initiative. Learn more on our website, kickin-violence.org, and lead360.jeffersonawards.org.

I challenge you to make a difference this October and beyond. Who knows who you might impact and what movement you might lead!

Comment section

9 replies
  1. My boyfriends brother and his girlfriend keep threatening me. They telling me to go kill my self and that my mom should’ve gotten an abortion I love my boyfriend we been together for 3 years now and I don’t want to make him choose what do I do help

    1. Hi Candice,

      Thanks for reaching out to us. It’s not okay for your boyfriend’s brother and his girlfriend to treat you this way. It’s not about choosing sides; it’s about recognizing that these are hurtful and unhealthy behaviors. If you’d like to talk this through with an advocate, we are here to support you! Just call 1-866-331-9474, chat here on our website or text loveis to 22522.

    2. Hey Candice does ur boyfriend know that his brother and his girlfriend are doing this if do leave him because if he truly cared and loved you then he would have done something if doesn’t know tell him so you can get help cause no one deserves to be treated horribly

  2. I am on H4 in this country,my spouse do not support me in anything he harassed me to go back to my county even I wanted to study here and tried to appear for exam he used to fight with me before exam so that I could not give my best.I have a kid of 4.I don’t have anyone here to share what I go through each day.It will be helpful can anyone help me or suggest me.I don’t want to make issue complicated for him,I don’t want to go against him I don’t want to take away my kids dad from him so please are there any means where I can cope with this.I feel so alone.

    1. Hi Kashma,

      Thank you for your comment. This sounds like such a difficult and complicated situation, and we want you to know that you’re not alone! We’d like to help in any way we can. Please call 1-866-331-9474, chat here on our website or text loveis to 22522 to speak confidentially with one of our advocates.

    1. Hi kisakye,

      If you have questions or concerns about a relationship, please get in touch with us by calling 1-866-331-9474, chat here on our website, or you can text loveis to 22522.

Comments are closed.

caret-downemailfacebookgoogleplusLove is Respect Heart Iconlinkedinmagnifying-glasspdfpinterestreddittumblrtwitter
Click to go back to top of page.