Ultimately, we have just one moral duty: to reclaim large areas of peace in ourselves, more and more peace, and to reflect it toward others. And the more peace there is in us, the more peace there will also be in our troubled world. –Etty Hillesum
How can you build a life, have a future, or be well if you are living in daily terror and fear? How can children flourish if they are living and growing to the sounds of violence in their home?
Freedom must exist at this basic level before it can be found in the larger world. This individual experience of peace is critical to the healing that is needed in Milwaukee.
At Sojourner, we believe that ending violence is a human rights issue. We believe that human beings have the fundamental right to live in peace, to live in safety, and to live free from violence. In 2017, Sojourner served 11,346 people, made 79,190 contacts with people who were hurting, provided 18,425 nights of shelter at Sojourner Truth House, and responded to 18,520 crisis calls on our 24-hour hotline. There is too much violence in our homes. This violence is often normalized, passed on from generation to generation, leaving children with the message that violence is an expected way of life.
The antidote to violence is the individual actions on behalf of peace in our community. We, you and I, are the ones who must create peace in the world and we must start where we live. To make peace, you must find peace, choose peace, and promote it in your inner circle – where you work, where you worship, where you heal and where you love. Peace must start in your own life. These individual choices are important to turning the tide of violence in our community. Every time you choose peace instead of anger, or give love, dignity and respect, you are creating a better world for all of us.
During Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we shine a light on the critical need to end violence in the lives of individuals and families in Milwaukee. There are far too many of us who continue to live in isolation, far too many who live in terror, and too many who are hurt by those who say they love them.
In addition to awareness and education, it is vital that we create spaces where people can experience peace and healing. We need spaces where we are greeted with love and dignity. We need spaces where we are seen as human beings. We need spaces that focus on healing and spaces that help us understand that we are the owners of our own healing process.
Sojourner Family Peace Center is one of these healing places. We are dedicated to offering love, dignity, and respect to everyone who comes to us for help. We are here to help you heal. We stand ready to partner with you, to work with you and others to create the world we so desperately need. A world where harm and hurt do not exist. A world that is grounded in peace.