Building a Safer Community
Answer the Call is a community invitation to action about cultivating an end to domestic abuse from within our community and from within each of us.
It‘s only when the majority of our community takes action that we can achieve the culture change needed to ensure safety for ALL survivors and that starts with all of us.
For so long in our community, Emerge Center Against Domestic Abuse has existed to create, sustain and celebrate a life free from abuse.
Since 1975, we have been providing shelter and intervention services, trying to hear and help those whose lives were being ravaged and disrupted by violence and abuse.
But along the way, we realized that until we begin to address the root causes of violence in our community, we are only putting a bandaid on the problem. While having support services available is critical for individuals and families experiencing abuse, we know that responding to the abuse will not stop it in the future.
Our communities are saturated with violence, it has become a normalized response that is rooted in the assumption, belief, and value that define power and status by the ability to dominate and control.
This is intrinsically linked to the ways that power is defined within relationships.
Often the behaviors that individuals use related to power, dominance and control are inadvertently supported by our community and to achieve systemic change and actually get at the concept of “stopping domestic abuse” we each need to examine the ways that we use power and privilege in our own lives.
Each of us has primary communities that we operate in and that reinforce the beliefs and values we hold as core and consequently affirm our behaviors.
We have also been taught about conformity to mainstream gender roles that provide a blue print for the explicit rules about how to see and treat those who are perceived to be superior and inferior because of gender identity, race, sexual orientation or some other label.
As individuals we consciously or unconsciously accept that dominance and aggression are natural expressions of power and privilege. It is important to note that most behaviors used by individuals are not “illegal” or do not fit the legal definition of abuse/violence, but are controlling or abusive by definition with intention of asserting power and privilege.
This can also include remaining silent in the face of other’s behavior and is a form of approval and reinforcement.
It’s time for our community to come together and to act to end abuse and violence of all types.
Violence will end when we want it to end, as a community. Violence will end when we start talking to each other about our experiences, when we start listening to each other about our needs. In Tucson, violence will end when we start connecting to the reservoir of pain that we all have as a result of our community’s violence. We can do it when we are ready to.
There is a call that has gone out to address the violence, to end it, and to create a community where love, respect and safety are essential and inviolable rights for everyone in this city.
The question isn’t even necessarily what should we do but, rather, are we willing to do something?