This Saturday May 11 is World Bellydance Day & it's the day Shimmy Mob will be taking places in locations around the world with thousands of participants.
Shimmy Mob is an annual flash mob dedicated to raising awareness about domestic violence.
It's an important topic, the statistics are still around 1 in 3 women & 1 in 7 men who have experienced domestic violence, and that's what's reported. I think everyone knows the numbers are higher, because people generally only report serious issues, and police and courts are often involved.
5 Minutes of Awareness to Help Save Lives
If you have just 5 minutes for this important topic, please read this PDF. The focus for this year's campaign is on awareness and learning to recognize the early signs of emotional abuse, as this often occurs before physical abuse...and domestic violence can be fatal, not everyone survives when the abuse becomes physical. So the idea is that everyone should learn to recognize the signs, so you can spot it if you encounter in your own life or see a friend or someone you know who is experiencing abuse. Awareness is key and the earlier signs can be recognized and the abuse can be stopped, the better.
If you have a bit more time and interest in this topic... Well, for one, come see us dance!
World Bellydance Day, Saturday May 11
This Saturday we're currently scheduled to perform at the following locations, subject to change, it is a "flash mob" afterall. :)
For more information about abuse, here are a few good resources I ran across recently.
Why Domestic Violence Victims Don't Leave
Here's a good Ted talk video by Leslie Morgan Steiner sharing her experience with domestic violence and talking about why people often stay with abusers. Leslie mentions at one point that she believed she "was a very strong woman in love with a deeply troubled man..." I think this is really important point to understand. Many women find themselves in abusive situations with men who are troubled, men who have suffered abuse, who struggle with mental health issues, who struggle with addiction issues... Women often stay because they love the person and they want to help them.
We all need to understand that being troubled or having a mental illness is NOT an excuse or a reason for abuse. If a partner is abusive towards you, regardless of whether they have a mental illness or not, they have no right to treat you in that manner.
Abuse and Mental Illness: Is There a Connection?
Here's a great article about abuse and mental illness. I love the reminder at the end: "You always deserve to have a healthy, loving, supportive, trusting and safe relationship 100% of the time." Yes! Everyone does!
This is one of the best descriptions I've seen of financial abuse, which isn't talked about very often. I like this article particularly because it talks about several forms financial abuse. Including the classic form where the abuser works, makes, and controls all the money forbidding the other person to work. And the form I've seen a surprising amount with high-achieving women who worked and made a good income, yet the abuser was manipulating and controlling finances, having them pay all of the bills, sometimes even taking on debt in their names!
I hope you found this post helpful and informative. I hope you will help us raise awareness about domestic violence. I feel this is an important enough topic that I'm personally taking part in the Shimmy Mob, despite recent injuries. And Hourglass Heaven is officially sponsoring the event as well. I feel this is a good cause and one that is definitely relevant to women, so as a female entrepreneur who makes women's clothing and most of my customers are women, I think this is a topic we can all support!
I hope you'll come join us on Saturday!