Updated: Jul 19, 2018
Change is good, change was needed, change was sought.
As you may have noticed our website looks a bit different. Our old website served its purpose, but that's about it. It was difficult to navigate, difficult to edit, and, quite honestly, difficult to look at. We had constant crashes, which was definitely an issue because we're the only domestic violence agency in Chelan/Douglas counties.
Our site's unreliability finally made us strive for change. We were wasting so much energy getting upset and trying to fix something that wasn't giving us much in return, so we got rid of everything and decided to start from scratch.
"The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but building the new." -Socrates
Our changes aren't only cosmetic but structural as well. We are a diverse community, so we started by adding Spanish buttons to pages. Click on the button and the entire page will translate into Spanish! We have also added FAQs, an exit button that will quickly link you to a movie trailer for speedy exits, a page just for local resources, and much more. Change can be scary and seemingly impossible, but is it?
Is change possible?
As advocates our main job is to empower clients to make their own decisions. Abuse is all about power and control, so we want clients to have the space to have a voice and feel heard. We never try to push someone to do something they don't want to do, but we do give options and suggestions! Sometimes they are able to leave the relationship and sometimes they go back to their abuser. Their reasons for going back are their own, but some common reasons are:
For the kids
Pressure from family or other
Belief that abuser will change
But can an abuser change? Is the abuse so ingrained in who they are that it's impossible to separate the two?
It is unfair to say that people never change. As we grow and mature our personalities change, our interests change, heck even our bodies change! People do have the capacity to change, but it's not effortless. The abuser needs to stop denying that the abuse occurred, making excuses for the abuses, and/or blaming other people or things (like drugs) for the abuse. At the end of the day abuse is a choice and they made the choice to be abusive. They need to profoundly want to and be actively demonstrating that they're taking the necessary steps to be the person that you deserve. Please be aware that there is a difference between saying that they're changing and actually making a change.
If you are in a similar situation right now, please know that you are not alone. Please contact SAGE and make an appointment with an advocate if you want to know more about, power & control, the cycle of violence, changes, etc. Your advocate can help you explore your options.