Below is part two of our interview with Becky Lee. Part one is available here.
How do you facilitate the “critical one to one between survivors and victims’”? Why is this so important?
It is important and crucial to show people who are still experiencing intimate partner violence that there is a way out, how common the issue is, and how there is no specific answer to solve one’s situation but that there is support, help, and people who understand the difficulty they are facing in leaving.
Becky’s Fund facilitates this relationship through events and workshops where we work one on one with victims, and through personally setting up meetings with survivors and victims to work together on such things like a safety plan, moving out, and even going to court together.
Becky’s Fund in particular works to support women in immigrant communities. How and why are women in marginalised communities particularly in danger of the cycle of DV?
Due to factors such as differences in cultural and religious beliefs, a language barrier, and immigration issues, many immigrant women stay with their abuser for a much longer time, thinking that they don’t have choices or options to leave. We work to explain how under VAWA, women can obtain U and T Visas to be able to stay in the US without the support of their spouse. We help these women understand that it is okay to get a divorce and how to become financially independent so they can leave and live on their own. We find translators to help assist these women in court, in the hospital, and with the police so that they can openly tell their stories of abuse and find justice from the system.
In 2006 you competed in “Survivor: Cook Island.” Tell us about this amazing experience. You have been quoted as saying that the strength you needed for this event is comparable to the strength a victim of violence needs to stay strong through adversity. Please expand upon this. In particular, what advice would you give to a woman who is struggling to find her inner strength?
If anything, I truly learned about my strengths and weaknesses while I was on this island with nothing, no luxuries, no friends, and no technology like the phone or Internet. I quickly learned that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I learned how there was no shame in asking for help, that humans are not meant to live by themselves and that we can all learn from each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
What can we do to help Becky’s Fund?
Become educated on the warning signs of dating and domestic violence.
Don’t be afraid to speak out when you see your friend or colleague in need – sometimes, that person just needs the comfort in knowing that she isn’t alone and that there is no shame in asking for help.
Volunteer for domestic violence organizations like Becky’s Fund. We are all doing this work together and have to help each other advance our mission, but we cannot do it alone.
Donate to Becky’s Fund to help us continue: working directly with victims to help them heal; educating our youth to learn what the warning signs are and how to help one another; helping survivors become financially independent; creating the first domestic violence phone application that will help save lives; training medical professionals about how to better analyse and treat domestic violence.
In your opinion, what can the average person do to help end VAW in our communities.
You are one of the hosts of the Washington DC Global “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” Day event which is being organised by The Pixel Project and Venture Humanity. For our readers who don’t know about this event, please tell us a bit about it and what Becky’s Fund is hoping to achieve with it.
We are asking men to take a stand against violence against women by marching a mile in heels. We have joined with DC Coalition against Domestic Violence to get as many men as we can to participate in this march on June 19. We want to show that we, as a community, need to work together with both men and women to tackle this silent epidemic which affects millions every year.
The details on the Washington D.C. Walk are available at the end of this Global Walk a Mile in Her Shoes–Heels Up in Washington D.C video or on our Global Walk a Mile in Her Shoes website.