At Blooming Betty we say over and over again that we are committed to helping women define their own path to success. We state that we are the voice of women who share the dream of feeling successful. We believe in the “you” that you want to be; empowering you to stake your claim to life success and have a hand to your back – not to push, but to help you hold steady to what matters most.
This is who Blooming Betty is committed to being, for all women. Well this week as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, the global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future, Blooming Betty would actually like to focus on the women who are often not recognized for their achievements, not mentioned for their strength and their successes, but must be recognized. These are the women who live with domestic abuse. This abuse comes in many forms from the obvious physical abuse to the more subtle emotional and financial abuse, and cuts across all racial and demographic lines. No group is spared. And they need us. Women who recognize the importance of confidence, the value and luxury of having choices and the desire to support each other, as friends, as sisters, wives, daughters, and most importantly as women.
The Assaulted Women’s Helpline (AWHL) provides a 24-hour crisis line for women. This life-saving service allows women to reach out for help, free of charge, assured of confidentiality and anonymity. A telephone Counsellor provides immediate crisis counselling, safety planning, as well as referrals to local agencies and support for the ongoing struggle to name and act against abuse. Counsellors never meet clients face- to – face as this is a telephone service only. Counsellors use a supportive approach that encourages women to look at their needs, and make their own informed decisions. Service is provided in up to 154 languages. Deaf and hard of hearing women are served through a TTY line. This is an incredible organization and one that is close to my heart. I have served as a member of their Resource Development Board, ran half marathon's to raise funds and only wish I had the ability, time and resources to do more. I don't generally promote using this column but believe that strongly in this cause and crisis. Women need to help other women.
Unfortunately, the crisis line volume of calls, continues to grow year after year. Last year alone, over 49,000 calls were answered. Bustsadly, due to lack of funding, as many as 50% of the women that call their line during peak periods cannot get through to speak to a counsellor. That translates to thousands of women who hear a busy signal when they need to hear the voice of someone that can help.
Many of us are lucky enough to not being able to even imagine what that could feel like. To have nobody to turn to… It is with this in mind that AWHL is creating its campaign “Who would you call?”
Who would you call at 4am? Who would you call when you needed a shoulder to cry on? Who would you call first with good news or bad? AWHL want to celebrate and honour those special friends in your lives who are always there for you.
To mark the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day AWHL invite’s you to share inspiring and heart-warming tributes to those sister-friends and incredible people who we can always call no matter what. Let your BFF to be one of those friends they tell the world about. AWHL will feature them daily on their site. They are also are inviting participants to make a donation of any amount in honour of their friend and we'll mail a special card to them to mark the tribute contribution.
I am going to post my tributes on their site. I feel so lucky, I have many to name, from sister and Mom, to friends who are like sisters. Who will you name? Shout it out. PLEASE help to raise the critical awareness and funds to make sure no call goes unanswered when women need it most. Enough can never be said about the importance of this issue and the serious problems around violence against Women but lets all do something too. We owe it to each other.
Blooming Betty will return the week of March 21st.