You don’t have to suffer through abuse alone
Domestic violence is a silent killer, but if you are a victim know you are not alone. If you are in an abusive relationship, this editorial is meant for you. Most important, there is an army of people who have your back.
Among them is the Haven Women’s Center of Stanislaus.
Many years ago, I needed Haven’s services. I felt trapped in a relationship. I believed nobody else would ever want me, that a look of disgust should accompany intimacy, that passion equaled getting roughed up. By “roughed up,” I mean slammed against the wall, pushed down stairs and slapped across the face. When I say trapped, I mean my texts, emails and phone calls were monitored. I was told I was an embarrassment to my family, so asking for help was futile.
The people of Haven took me and my plight seriously. They identified the types of abuse I was experiencing and taught me to disarm my attacker. Recovery started with me.
After working with Haven, I became successful at hearing my own voice. I rebuilt the life I was meant to live.
Today I am vice president of Haven’s board of directors. We are a Stanislaus County non-profit providing services, shelter and transition to survivors of domestic violence, abuse and sex trafficking. Last year we helped over 2,500 survivors, sheltering 250 children and adults fleeing from abuse and responding in person to over 260 calls for support from law enforcement, hospitals and individuals.
When you come to a Haven event, such as the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, know the majority of those who surround you form an army of survivors. If you are a victim, know you are not alone.
You can find your voice and speak up for yourself, your children and your family. There is no room for shame and embarrassment. You have a beautiful life waiting to be lived.
Jenilyn Dittman is a mother, entrepreneur, philanthropist and native Modestan. Comments: email@example.com
MJC a community treasure; but more need to find it
Yosemite Community College District has a new chancellor in Henry Chiong Vui Yong. As he arrives, I’d like him to know about my experience at Modesto Junior College. I just this year completed my studies with an Associate Degree in Communication Studies.
I had a financially reasonable, fun and swift experience at MJC largely due to the many dedicated teachers I encountered. Throughout my entire time at MJC, I had easy access to all of my professors through their office hours. I was also able to make convenient appointments with academic counselors. Perhaps most important in my MJC experience was encountering people who ultimately shared my educational goals – to acquire all the tools necessary to further my education going forward. In my case, that means attending classes at Stanislaus State.
So, Chancellor Yong, it’s important you know that MJC is doing a lot of things right. But you also might learn there are a few things the district can improve.
Most importantly, MJC in particular is often undervalued by residents.
It might help if there were more events throughout the community to showcase the hardworking and successful students. Events that also demonstrate the continued passion for teaching that every professor I encountered has.
Education is the most important thing one generation provides for the next. That’s why your job is so important.
My goal in attending MJC was to establish a good foundation for my college career, and that was achieved. For others to find the same success, tuition costs and fees must remain within reach for students, we need to find a wide variety of subjects being taught and enough sections of the most popular classes so they can graduate on time. With that and all the other great things happening on campus – sports, theater, music, open lectures – they’ll see the enormous value that is right in their midst.
Janell Martinez lives in Turlock, working two jobs; she will attend Stanislaus State in September. Comments: firstname.lastname@example.org
Visiting Editor Program
The Modesto Bee Visiting Editor program invites two community members to join our editorial board for its regular, weekly meetings. Visiting editors meet with the permanent members of the board to interview community newsmakers, political candidates and others of interest at 2:30 p.m. each Wednesday. Occasionally, additional meetings are added. Visiting editors serve three months and are encouraged to write occasional editorial comments. To become a visiting editor or learn more, contact Opinions Page Editor Mike Dunbar at email@example.com or 209-578-2325.