Founder and Artist: Vickie Florschuetz

 

Like many people, I believed that domestic abuse was a rare and private crisis of physical violence between a husband and a wife who were lower class folks with less education. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Through taking the time to learn from those who had actually been there, I discovered that domestic abuse is more common than breast cancer, yet little effort is put into awareness campaigns and action plans. I learned that male, elderly, and disabled victims are continuously marginalized in our society because most focus is put on only specific groups. Additionally, you and I pay for the residual problems of domestic abuse and homicide in the BILLIONS of tax dollars a year in health care, unemployment insurance, victim services, law enforcement, and child assistance, etc.

Vickie painting onsiteSo why did I begin Bravery Project? Because domestic abuse is still society's dark secret. It masquerades under many names: child abuse, assault and battery, spousal rape, power and control, homicide, animal cruelty, murder-suicide, human trafficking, etc. We read or hear about it in the news daily. Regardless of the title, it is a human and animal rights issue that affects all of us, whether it touches us personally or covertly through the economic and social burdens it places on communities. Furthermore, victims continue to be inaccurately blamed because we don't really understand thier situations. We tell them to leave without explaining the tools available to help them recover.

I want to inspire people to think differently about domestic abuse by changing thier beliefs, breaking that silence by talking about it, and learning how to respond and get involved. After all, every survivor has claimed that someone cared enough to help get the resources needed toward permanent freedom. If not you and me, then who?