Welcome to part two of our September 2019 Inspirational Interview with Nanette Chezum.
Ms. Chezum founded The Courage Corner and is a domestic violence advocate. She is a nationally recognised speaker in the United States and an active volunteer with various Colorado-based and national nonprofits that educate people about domestic abuse, promote healthy relationships and empower survivors to heal, thrive and live their best lives. A survivor of a verbally and psychologically abusive relationship with a law enforcement officer, Nanette’s passion is educating the public about intimate partner abuse via her personal story. Additionally, Nanette speaks about all forms of domestic abuse and the early warning signals that manifest in a new relationship.
In this part of the interview, Ms. Chezum talks about what people can do about Officer Involved Domestic Violence and how men and boys can get involved in stopping violence against women.
Part 1 of the interview was published Sunday, September 29, 2019.
Photo courtesy of Nanette Chezum.
6. What would your advice be to anti-violence against women activists, groups and organisations in other parts who the world who are looking to deal effectively with Officer Involved Domestic Violence (OIDV)?
You must have a plan for assisting victims that come to you:
Reach out to your local law enforcement and come up with a plan should one of their officers/deputies commit an act of violence.
Reach out to advocates in neighbouring counties, territories and states to assist. Make these connections before the victim comes to you.
The plans should make the survivor’s safety their first concern. Please never turn away a victim who has a law enforcement perpetrator. You might be the only lifeline she has, particularly in a rural area.
7. How do you think men and boys can help to end violence against women?
When men and boys hear another male make disparaging comments about women/girls aka “locker room talk,” name it for what it is and call it out. Encourage boys and men to feel free to express thoughts and feelings free from ridicule. Leaders at corporations, sports teams and community organisations can take the lead and create awareness about toxicity within and outside the workplace. Encourage men and boys to openly discuss domestic violence and sexual assault.
This includes teaching them to recognise the signs, understand consent and encourage men and boys to seek the assistance of an experienced treatment provider before they enter the legal system. You would be surprised how normalised abusive behaviors are and how those that use abusive behaviours do not realise they are using them and those that witness abuse do not always recognise it.
8. What are your plans for The Courage Corner in the next 5 years, and do you have any other anti-violence against women initiatives in the pipeline?
I am going to continue to expand my public speaking platform about OIDV and domestic violence in general. I will continue to travel the country and speak. I have many goals that I plan to achieve that are an on-going process. I have a lot of patience and a lot of grit, and I am not planning to stop anytime soon.
9. How can The Pixel Project’s supporters engage with and support your advocacy work via The Courage Corner?
If you are a conference organiser, law enforcement personnel or advocacy organisation, please reach out to me. I would love the opportunity to present to you. I have a multitude of workshops that I offer that tackle violence against women.
10. In your considered opinion, how can we end violence against women for good?
We must get to the root cause: misogyny, bigotry, racism, patriarchal entitlements, rape culture and sexism. We must raise healthy, respectful boys and men that are educated about violence against women. We must start by believing girls and women.