Words by Erwin M. Davis II
March is Women’s History Month, and is a time to showcase all of the progress we’ve made as a society to empower, support, and demand equality for women. In honor of that, I felt it appropriate to help shine a light on an organization that has been a community staple for decades, and looks to continue its impact on the lifting-up of women into the ever-progressing future.
Found deep in the heart of Texas, Genesis Women’s Shelter is a southern-grown organization dedicated to supporting those affected by domestic violence. Since its declaration in 1985, Genesis has served as a social pillar in Dallas aimed at being a valuable resource of emotional, spiritual, and psychological help for victims of assault and abuse. From transitional housing for women and their children, to in-house legal services, Genesis’ mission to provide safety, shelter, and support for women who have experienced domestic violence rings jubilant.
Communications Director, Amy Ridings, spoke with me about the importance of the mission, and why the current moment we exist in is critical in the fight to change the way we view domestic violence.
“We walk beside her,” says Ridings, “Whatever her decision, we walk beside her, and we support her. We know that domestic violence is unique, in that there’s no ‘one size fits all’ solution, but now is the time to fight.”
Ridings references key social moments like the “Me Too” movement origins, and the increasingly fearless manner in which many industries have excluded those deemed responsible for domestic and sexual abuse. She goes on, “We need a societal paradigm shift. We’ve done it with drunk-driving; we’ve done it with smoking. It’s going to take everybody saying, ‘This isn’t somebody else’s issue. This could happen to my mother, daughter, or sister.’ It may not happen in your home, but we all have to stand up and say it should never happen in any home.”
Nationally, 1 in 4 women are victims of domestic abuse. In the state of Texas, this ratio tightens to 1 in 3. Operating in the largest state in the south, Amy says that their mission reaches far and wide to all demographics in the region. Specifically, she mentions the importance of their work with members of the Latina and Spanish-speaking community through their work as a result of their geographical placement in the south.
While the subject of domestic violence has always been a harbor for shame, embarrassment, and a dark history of publicly crucifying victims, Genesis serves as a beacon of safety, support, and hope for those in need. For the work they provide, it’s obvious that it isn’t about ‘fixing’ broken individuals. It’s about shifting power—inherently deserved power—back to the women to whom it rightfully belongs.
“This is something that we all need to be talking about. Everyone can be a part of the solution whether or not it happens in your household. The power is hers to have.”
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic assault, and are looking for assistance, visit genesisshelter.org today.