In 2017, Buncombe County had more than 550 arrests related to domestic violence incidents. Since October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Buncombe County wants to make everyone aware of the Family Justice Center and its programs, partners, and other resources.
One of those programs is the Up-Stander initiative. An up-stander is someone who steps up when they see or hear behaviors that excuse domestic or sexual violence. Stepping up does not mean putting yourself in danger or increasing risks to others. When you are an up-stander, you help stop patterns in your community that contribute to violence. By stopping these patterns you help break the cycle of violence. Here are a couple of basic ways to be upstanding.
- Believe them.
- Let them know it’s not their fault.
- Tell them they are not alone.
- Connect them to someone who can help them create a safety plan.
- Support their decisions.
- Let them know you care about their safety and that they deserve a healthy relationship.
- I believe you.
- Are you afraid of your partner when they are angry?
- You are not alone; there is help.
- Can I help connect you with the services at the Family Justice Center?
- You deserve to feel safe in your home and in your relationship.
- I’m not here to judge you; I’m here to listen.
Be Up-Standing Locally:
- Volunteer. Family Justice Center partners have volunteer opportunities. Check their websites for more information.
- Donate money or wish list items to Family Justice Center Partners.
- Invite a speaker to your school, workplace, faith community or any group you belong to. FJC partners offer free community education and professional training that can be tailored to your group.
- Support state and local policies that assist survivors and increases accountability for offenders.
- Spread the word, domestic and sexual violence are not tolerated in Buncombe County.
Up-Stander basics – Ways you can stop violence:
- Speak out against violence and threats.
- Challenge attitudes that blame victims for what happened to them.
- Stand up when someone is belittling their partner or treating their partner as a possession.
- Don’t support songs or shows or laugh at jokes that make light of sexual assault or domestic violence.
- Encourage your friends to talk about respect and consent in relationships.
For more information about the Family Justice Center’s resources visit the website or call (828) 250-6900.