#CombattheSilenceJH: Ally Hubbs strives to make domestic violence a problem of the past

(Jackson, Wyo.) - Every year, more than 3 million children are witnesses to domestic violence, and every nine seconds, a woman is beaten in the U.S. alone. Jackson Hole Middle School 7th grader Ally Hubbs wants to make domestic violence a problem of the past. She is combating domestic violence with her art and by raising money for the Community Safety Network. Learn more in her essay below. Learn about the local students who #CombattheSilenceJH here. *Domestic Violence: Problem of The Past?* by Ally Hubbs Yesterday, I was greeted by my two crazy dogs, leaping for joy that I was home. I walked upstairs carrying bags of groceries. I put away gleaming berries, grapes, even red velvet cupcakes. I went outside and played baseball. Dad finally came home and he chased me with his muscular arms, waiting to hold me and give me a hug. The feeling of love overwhelmed my body, a feeling I still have a hard time getting used to. Yet, not even a mile away, nine year-old *Alice (name has been changed) came home and was greeted by dishes piling over everything; she only had an hour to do them without being in trouble. She walked upstairs to her parents’ room to make sure it was clean. But walking into the room, she found glass on the floor. The emergency baseball bat too. She looked down, started to turn blue. Red blood, 6 hours old, glistened on the carpet. This wasn’t the first time. She ran downstairs, not to call or yell, but to clean the mess or she would face hell. The house smelled of the generic cleaner scent, Alice’s little nine year old body scrubbed the house. A sigh of relief left her mouth realizing, that she was free from her father’s wrath. Later that day, her father came home with a bag full of bread. This was a lucky day because most nights it was beer. She went to bed feeling of fear for her mom, knowing if she doesn’t sleep lightly, her mom won’t ever wake up. *This isn’t Uncommon* Sadly. This is a true story. Even worse is over 3 million children are witnesses to domestic violence every year, and every nine seconds - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 - a woman is beaten in the U.S. alone. Also, 1 out of 4 women in the world will experience domestic violence at least once in their life. Finally, Domestic violence is the third leading cause of homelessness among families. (NCADV) While there are women, men, children, babies, and elders being abused, we are living our lives. We need to gain awareness of domestic violence before we become the next generation of victims. *Face Reality* If you are an “average human” your duties call to providing family, paying bills, and keeping a roof over your head. Your life doesn’t revolve around intimate relationships but instead a college degree. Unfortunately, women are put in this evil standard where they feel like they have to be a woman with a man, or no woman at all. So they find a man, rush into a relationship and BOOM it starts. “Domestic violence refers to physical, emotional, or sexual abuse between families and other adults who are, or have been, in close relationships” ( As simple as it sounds, domestic violence is unfortunately one of the leading causes of unnatural death each year. Leslie Morgan Steiner, a victim of domestic violence, gave a TED Talk explaining how she gained the strength to leave and stand up to her abuser. Before she learned all of that she was madly in love with “Connor.” She doubted that a man like him would ever lay a finger on her and hurt her. Unfortunately, that is the case for over 98% of domestic violence cases. *“If you had told me that this smart, funny, sensitive man who adored me would one day dictate whether or not I wore makeup, how short my skirts were, where I lived, who my friends were, where I spent Christmas, I would have laughed at you. Connor did not come home one day and say, ‘You know this Romeo and Juliet stuff has been great, but I need to move on to the next phase where I isolate you and abuse you.’” * In conclusion, domestic violence doesn’t just start in one day; instead it is like a disease where it grows inside someone and spreads like a wildfire. “It is so easy to become a victim of domestic violence because it hides, lurks, stalks its prey until hypnotized with the “love” it’s given.” (SAFE WY) *The Causes* The main cause of domestic violence is being abused as a child. Unfortunately, domestic violence lasts for generations. The thing is, abuse can also be caused by wanting to lead or make decisions. If you have a partner in your life where they want to control, make decisions or always be right, you might be witnessing a start to domestic violence. “Some causes of domestic violence are sexism and that one partner is the “alpha” and they have to make all of the decisions” (NCADV). This makes me so upset because now we are aware of how sexism is now oriented with domestic violence. *The Effects* If you have any compassion for our next generation, you should be aware of the side effects of domestic violence. There is a significant chance of violence going through at least 3 generations. The problem of domestic violence is that the effects last a lifetime; they will rarely be fixed by a counseling or physical therapy. They will always be a victim of violence. - Victims may abuse alcohol or drugs - Experience depression - Eating disorders - Consider or attempt suicide. - Emotional and psychological distress. - Become violent. (From NCADV) *The Cycle Of Violence.* It takes seven times for a woman to leave a man, the reason why the stay is because of the fear of losing money, kids, housing, and cars. They are afraid that if they go they will lose “everything”. The reason why that it takes them years to leave is because of the cycle, the cycle is where a man abuses a woman emotionally, physically, and verbally. The woman is at her wits end and she wants to leave him. Not even a day later the man will give her meaningless hugs and sympathy. Unfortunately; the woman will then believe the violence is non-existent and she is safe. Abused women are vulnerable, insecure, and weak. They need to hear that they are beautiful. They need to feel loved, They need to feel safe. I am a witness of the cycle, it is such a terrifying experience and in some way it is life changing. I remember my family member crying, unknowingly going through the cycle, and feeling unloved because she had a man beating her. *Make an Imprint: How to Help* Before you go home and think about how fortunate you are for not being a victim of domestic violence, you need to remember at least this one thing out of my essay; In life we were brought here for a reason, the reason is to walk on this Earth and leave an imprint. The imprint can be being the next sports star or artist. But for one thing, make a difference. By the time I am too old to remember or speak, I want domestic violence to no longer be a problem. For now we can donate to the people that are making a difference. Some people are debating the solutions for domestic violence, but there isn’t one way you can leave your abuser, or stand up to being hurt and punched. The only thing you can do if you are facing this hell in your life is to do what speaks to you. Of course there are exceptions such as killing someone, or something crazy. But, whatever speaks to you is what is right. Do what your gut tells you and what your heart is leading you to. One easy thing you can do is donate your old phone. Donating phones can let someone call their family and the police, without contact the victim will lose touch with their family. When this happens, the family is not aware of the pain their loved one is facing. To donate a phone for free, with a paid shipping label.- *Tips for Households with Domestic Violence* If you are a person who lives in a household with domestic violence, the ways you can keep safe and leave are keep a list of telephone numbers for family or friends who can assist you in an emergency. - Remember that if you have a re-dial button on your telephone, anyone else in the house can push redial to find out who you have just called. - Keep important items somewhere safe in case you need to leave in a hurry (for example, important documents, such as birth certificates, bank books, tax file numbers, passports; a spare set of keys; medication; and a change of clothes). - (For your parent) Let your children know what to do in an emergency (where to go, and who to telephone. Give them the numbers for the police, neighbors, relatives). - Have in mind a place to which you can go quickly, if necessary. (From NCADV). *National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.* *Speaking Out* I am going to show awareness to domestic violence by painting. In my art I show a hand breaking through the letters “Til Death.” This depicts that by vowing to someone you are promising your life and love to them; by doing so it’s hard for a woman to leave a man that she thought she knew and loved. Behind all of this there is a cluster of statistics, facts, and stories that will break your heart. So in conclusion, the whole painting shows the beauty of a marriage but then the sorrowful truth of domestic violence. Then, I will also be holding a lemonade and bake sale during the summer, and the money made will go towards my charity; (Community Safety The reason why I have decided to research domestic violence is because some of my family members used to be victims of it. Unfortunately, I was a witness and victim of it as well. Everything about domestic violence is personal, but in order to stop it, you need to make it no longer personal. Now, before you lie to yourself and say someone else will help. Act out, scream, fight, do whatever you can do to prevent and stop domestic violence. *Works Cited * “Electronic Recycling For All.” Cellular Recycler. Cellular Recylcer, 2016. Web. 3 June 2016. . “11 Facts About Domestic Abuse.” DoSomething.Org. DoSomething.Org, 2016. Web. 3 June 2016. < >. “Girl who is a witness.” Mental Healthy UK. Mental Healthy UK, 2016. Web. 3 June 2016. < >. “National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.” NCADV. NCADV, 2016. Web. 3 June 2016. . I used many of my information from this website, but mostly statistics. Steiner, Leslie Morgan. Why Don’t Domestic Violence Victims Leave. Ted Talks. Youtube, n.d. Web. 3 June 2016. < >. Various Pages. Community Safety Network. Community Safety Network, 2016. Web. 3 June 2016. . A woman holding up her hand to show weakness. Arizona Capitol Times. Arizona Capitol Times, 2016. Web. 3 June 2016. < >. *Feature Photo: Alexandra Hubbs. Pitchengine Communities* #buckrail #news #combatthesilencejh