Rural women are included too. Today a world of women from over 200 countries took to the streets opposing violence against women. The smaller the community the less likely women are to stand against a system of treatment that is deplorable from its origin but sustaining within the context of economic dependence. Survival is wrapped in her reliance on the abuser to meet her daily needs, securing her shelter, food and sense of feeling loved. Her inability to provide for herself, and her family overrides her voiceless cry for help. If she is to be heard, her voice must come through a number of outside sources to include public policy.
Recent legislation does more than trim budgets to inspire economic growth as a show of fiscal discipline and political might. When leadership refuses health care for the most vulnerable and other acts that inspire the human will,women can be found among the spoils. And if they are already fighting emotional, spiritual and physical survival, the likelihood of her getting out of the abuse, is slim to none. Women do not exist in silos. Her voice and her needs are best examined within the context of how she sees and feels about herself. On the ground her challenges are far more intense and her fears terrifying.
To local communities and public policy makers everywhere, women suffer in silence far too often. Economics is the single most driver of a woman’s ability to breathe relief from abuse along with the psychological handling of it all. Then is her strength of personal courage to walk away with the support of family, the community and public policy that supports and does not oppose her. So, how will rural women respond? Odds are she will remain silent. She will choose the road most traveled by- that of silence and fear.
What can we do? Here are a few considerations: Open dialogue in your church and local community around women and abuse. Support local Safe Houses for women and Domestic Violence Shelters. Volunteer at a Domestic Violence Hot Line. Follow key public policy and ask the question of any policy, how will it impact women and children?