The Uncommon Man

December 28, 2007

MRC of South Texas December Column

To the People of San Benito
By Emiliano Diaz de Leon, Executive Director
Men's Resource Center of South Texas

The San Benito News graciously provided me with a venue this past year in which I was able to share my voice on behalf of the voiceless – the victims of violence whose voices we can no longer hear because a partner silenced them with a gun, the victims whose screams are muted by the brick walls of their home, and the victims who are too afraid to speak. As their voice, I want to leave you in my final column for the year with a message of both hope and challenge.

Looking at the family violence statistics for 2006 (as those for 2007 have yet to be compiled), there were 295 incidents in San Benito compared to 302 the year before. This slight decrease provides a glimmer of hope that change can occur. Unfortunately, it also highlights the fact that our efforts to end domestic violence must continue as there are still a large number of victims who continue to suffer at the hands of their partners.

We must no longer allow the plight of these victims to fall on deaf ears. We must hear their cries, however faint they may be and raise them up to full volume in order to improve our community. We can no longer remain silent, while our mothers, sisters, aunts, neighbors, co-workers, and classmates endure violence from the men in their lives. By remaining silent, we give perpetrators the green light to treat women and children as their property to do with as they please.

Mahatma Gandhi once said, "Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it." We must all take some sort of action, big or small, because we all have a stake in the outcome, and as we begin a new year, it is the perfect time to forge ahead with a plan of action. Institutions, like city government, the school district, and local churches must lead their constituents, students, and followers down a path of nonviolence by focusing on prevention rather than constantly responding to violence after the fact, and individuals must hold them accountable by speaking out, demonstrating, calling, or writing letters to the editor about the issues of domestic and sexual violence.

Each of us is a piece of the puzzle. How we come together determines what the picture will look like. I urge you to rise to the challenge and to do your part. As insignificant as you think it may be, it is still more than what was being done yesterday and combined with the efforts of others, it can power the change we seek in order to create a picture of San Benito that we can all be proud of.

Posted by Daniel at December 28, 2007 02:15 PM

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