Someday, you will notice that your father doesn’t bring me a dozen roses or a box of chocolate on Valentine’s Day. There are reasons for this and it’s not because he just forgets. He and I never really cared about Valentine’s Day in the first place and when we decided to get married in mid-February, we decided that was our get out of Valentine’s Day free card for life.
But just because I’m not the kind of woman who puts a lot of stock in lace and hearts, that doesn’t mean I don’t mark this day in my own way. One of my favorite writers, activist Eve Ensler, started a movement to make February 14th V-Day, a global movement of end violence against women. I participate in that because my own heart aches when I think of women living in peril.
Someday, my sweet baby girl, you’ll have no choice but to learn all the ways men – or other women, sometimes – brutalize our sisters all over the world. I will tell you now, and for the rest of your life, that no one may lay a hand on you. No one may use words to diminish you. No one may harm you and if they do, it is not your fault. The perpetrator of violence is always wrong and walking away is always an act of tremendous strength and bravery.
What I do every V-Day is make a donation to a shelter for survivors of domestic violence. When you’re bigger, I will let you help me help women. Together we can gather toiletries and clothes to donate for women working to get back on their feet, clothes and toys for their kids. We’ll talk about what it means and why we need to help.
There is a place for hearts and flowers on Valentine’s Day, my girl. But always keep room in your heart for the other women in our world and do what you can to smooth their way.
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, please seek help. You can find a list of national resources here.
Photo credit: photo stock
MORE ON BABBLE