Month: November 2014

Learn more about Natalia Langner’s experience at Becky’s Fund

The past two and a half months here at Becky’s Fund have been filled with many wonderful experiences. When I first arrived to DC, I was a little bit skeptical about working for an organization that deals with domestic violence because I did not feel I was prepared enough to handle the seriousness of the issue, emotionally and practically. The only other experience I had in relation to domestic violence is doing research and writing papers in college on Violence Against Women Act, which is a little bit different than dealing directly with clients and providing them with life-changing assistance. However, throughout my internship, I became more confident in my ability to serve the vulnerable and provide help to the survivors.
While at Becky’s Fund, I acquired and utilized a variety set of skills, from critical thinking to client-centered practice to research and event planning, which provided me with a foundation to do well on my assignments. Although doing research is not necessarily an exciting activity, it was helpful in assisting me to comprehend the different facets of domestic violence. Not in a million years would I have guessed that there is a correlation between domestic violence victims and cancer, yet the link is real and because I was asked to do research on this issue I have grown as a future professional. Not only did I expand on my knowledge, but I would not have been able to acquire this piece of information if it was not for Becky’s Fund, simply because I would never have researched this particular topic on my own. Also, I was able to attend a Congressional Briefing on the correlation between domestic violence and international abduction laws. This event was the highlight of my internship with Becky’s Fund because I learned so much in just two hours and I became motivated to continue to learn about the Hague Convention, especially since I am interested in international work.
Beyond the enhancement of my research skills, I was also exposed to variety of other opportunities that contributed to my development as a future social worker. Having the chance to work directly with the survivors made me realize the importance of organizations such as Becky’s Fund and gave me the experience of doing intake and direct intervention. Because domestic violence issue is so sensitive, it is vital to have a detailed intake, yet show sensitivity towards the survivors; therefore, knowing how to work with clients is an important skill that Becky’s Fund allowed me to develop further.
In addition to all the wonderful experiences that I received, I was able to participate in the Men of Code Program, which focused on the mentorship of a high school football team by teaching them about leadership, manhood, and habits of healthy relationships in order to prevent domestic violence in the future. One of the main reasons why I enjoyed being part of this program is because of its proactive approach to ending domestic violence. It was truly interesting to sit in on one of the lessons and hear the enthusiastic discussions that the students had regarding topics such as social media, HipHop, and masculinity in relation to domestic violence. Being able to witness their eager participation and learn from them was a growing experience.
Becky’s Fund allowed me to be part of a team that strives to prevent domestic violence as well as intervene in the moment of distress. Working side-by-side with a team filled with dedication to the cause and a desire to make a difference in their community made this summer that much more impactful. Becky Lee constantly challenged us as well as treated us as crucial members of the team, which made the time with the organization that much more productive and fulfilling. The lessons that I learned and the personal growth that I experienced will be a constant reminder of the wonderful people I had the pleasure of working with at Becky’s Fund!

Meet this brutally violent gang that everyone encounters sometime in their lives

Watch out it could be your best friend, your boss, your neighbor, even your brother. El Salvador has faced many hard decades in the last 50 years, ridden by civil war, foreign exploitation and racial genocide. Today one of the largest threats to its citizens is the major gang problem, and the countries in ability to put an end to this constant threat. Women as one can imagine do not fare so well in such an environment.

According to Non-governmental organization Salvadoran Women for Peace (Organizacion de Mujeres Salvadoreñas por la Paz – ORMUSA), which tracks violence against women, there were a record 628 such killings in 2011, higher than any year since the organization began to track the issue in 1999. In 2012 there were 320 homicides involving women, down from 2011 628. While the numbers may have dropped significantly when compared to previous years there is still an alarming about of “femicide” related crime for such a small country. “Femicide” being the coined term used by Human rights organizations in Latin America to refer to the murder of women who are killed because of their gender.

Many times the victims know the culprits and perhaps this is the saddest part, they are people they think they can trust, a friend, a neighbor, a boyfriend, even a relative. Perhaps even more shocking is the nature of the crimes, women are often raped and then brutally murdered. Some speculate that this is directly due to gang activity and El Salvador’s geographical location, which places it directly in the middle of most drug traffic going into the United States.

It comes to no surprise that a country with such a violent nature is among one of the countries with the highest murder rates in the world, El Salvador with nearly 70 per 100,000 people. While sexualized killings make up a small portion of the violent deaths, in 2010 for example 580 out of 4,000 involved some sort of “femicide”. Like in most countries this crime is in high occurrence during the holidays and among the largest concentration of population. San Salvador makes up for nearly 40% of all domestic crime, however one has to take into consideration that it solely has the highest reporting of such crimes. San Salvador being the capital of El Salvador has resources available to it that are not accessible in more rural areas of the country and as a result we see far fewer reports from such areas.

I remember the last time I visited El Salvador was nowhere near as dangerous as it is today, even though was pretty young and naïve I felt like I was in was at times that my safety was in some way threatened. I remember one occasion specifically when I was out with one of my older female cousins that she was very worried about our safety. It was broad daylight I thought to myself what could happen. We waited for a group of friends she had to walk us home, on our way home we witnessed a smaller group across the field being harassed. Had it just been the two of us it would have been a much different situation.  I haven’t been back since the age of 13, in part because of the danger of being an American and standing out among the locals.

While all people that commit domestic violence are not part of a gang and not all people in a gang commit domestic violence. The reality is that they may all be part of the same gang that is destroying countries all over the world. While Domestic Violence is by no means a new phenomena it is something that is impacting us on a much greater scale then ever before.

Thank you for making 2014 Walk This Way a great success!

Becky W Models
Washington, D.C. (October 31, 2014) – Washington Redskins, Baltimore Ravens, DC United players and over 500 Washingtonians came together last night for the Becky’s Fund 6th Annual Walk This Way charity fashion show at the Italian Embassy. The event raised over $200,000 for the DC-based nonprofit Becky’s Fund, an organization committed to the prevention of domestic and dating violence. Washington Redskins Pierre Garçon, Kai Forbath, Chris Baker and Andre Roberts, Ravens CJ Mosley and Chykie Brown and DC United stars Bill Hamid and Chris Pontius donned the newest looks from luxury clothing brand GANT, the event’s official menswear fashion partner. Professional boxer Jimmy Lange, Philadelphia Wings’ Paul Rabil, former NFL stars John Booty and Gary Clark, former Redskin Josh Morgan and US Olympian Giuseppe Lanzone completed the star-studded lineup of men who stepped up as role models to walk the runway and take a stand against domestic violence.

MOC poseProceeds from Walk This Way benefitted the Becky’s Fund “Men of Code” program, an initiative that engages and empowers high school athletes to become leaders in the movement to end violence against women and girls. The evening kicked off with a surprise appearance from Friendship Collegiate Academy’s football team, just a handful of the youth enrolled in the Men of Code program. Every year, over three million children witness domestic violence and Men of Code is part of the solution in helping end the cycle of violence that affects 1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men in the United States today. Check out ESPN’s Outside the Lines coverage of Men of Code at espn.go.com/video/clip?id=11853519.

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EVENT SPONSORS:

O’Brien Family Fund, CoVant, Diakon Logistics, The Bajaj Family Foundation, Sotheby’s and Michael Hines, Moët & Chandon, Belvedere, Peroni, Turkish Airlines, Gant, Karen Millen, Maserati of Arlington, Prestige Wine Imports, Aesthetic Dental Spa, American Social Sports, BDO, Belvedere Vodka, Charm Georgetown, ChopsByRera, Chanel, Cresa, David Yurman, Versace, DC Style Factory, Dolci Gelati, Donohoe, Georgetown Salon & Spa, Glenfiddich, The Gryphon, Hiro Sake, Jana Sedlakova, Jennifer Harlow, José Andrés ThinkFoodGroup.

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Becky’s Fund Founder Becky Lee delivered powerful remarks on the importance of creating awareness about the cause, “What an amazing night – bringing together the community to take a stand against domestic violence. Becky’s Fund is grateful for the support of our athletes who walked as women and men of code in our show to highlight the importance of breaking the cycle with our next generation. Without the generosity of O’Brien Family Fund, GANT, Moët Hennessy USA, Karen Millen, CoVant, Michael Hines and TRR Sotheby’s International Realty, Diakon, Bajaj Family Foundation and our generous donors, this event would not have been possible and we are honored to have been able to partner with these sponsors who are committed in ending domestic violence together.”

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HOST COMMITTEE:

Petya Balevska, Vinoda Basnayake, Susan Hammann Bernstein, Megan Blair, Chädleón Bookér, Chelsea Bridge, Maureen Bryant, Johnathan Burns, Brian Cornrich, Zora Costich, Hilary Curtin, Anastasia Dellaccio, Mujesira Dudic, Dawn Espinoza, Maggy Francois, Gunther Gabbert, Flavius Galiber, Lori Lazzarini, Dr. Whitney Austin Gray, Damien Gross, Jay Gutnick, Dannia Hakki, Jennifer Harlow, Michael Hines, Nick Hunter, Reina Jabbour, Loretta Jameson, Charles Johnson, Paul Juergensen, Mitchell Katz, Kathryn Key, Howard Lee, Charles McGuire-Wein, Victoria Michael, David Moretti, Alex Naini, Candace Ourisman, Chris Ourisman, Will Rydell, Michelle Schoenfeld, Jana Sedlakova, Ruth Song, Dario Sotomayor, Mike Sponseller, Angie Stribling, Eric Thompson, Crystal Walent, Kimberly Warfield, Antony Weaver, Anchyi Wei, Nyree Wright, Cici Zouine, and Karen Zuckerman

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