Franklin Woman’s Club hosts presentation on domestic violence

Published 10:37 am Wednesday, November 20, 2013


FRANKLIN—The Franklin Woman’s Club had a presentation during its monthly meeting at The Village at Woods Edge. The focus of the luncheon was domestic violence and the White Ribbon Campaign, in which men wear white ribbons to stand against men’s violence toward women.

The guest speaker for the event was Vanessa Greene, who not only works as the program director for the 5th Judicial District Community Corrections Program, but also as a volunteer with the Genieve Shelter in Suffolk.

The Woman’s Club has been having its regular monthly meetings since the inception of the club in 1922. There was a short disbandment period starting in 1933, but the club reactivated itself in 1945. Even the early days were spent helping women and children, so an event to bring awareness to the domestic violence was welcomed by members.

“The club was originally organized to get women involved in their communities,” said Beth Blythe, president of the Franklin Woman’s Club. “During the Depression we were responsible for finding and supplying milk for children to drink.”

The evening began with food served by the staff at The Village. Anne Hager led prayer, and then the eating began. Once everyone had eaten, the group was led into the “Pledge of Allegiance.”

After that, Beth Blythe took the podium and addressed the group. She then gave an introduction for Greene.

Greene opened up by sharing some of her background and a little about herself. She interacted with the women and made them aware of the pitfalls and traps that make domestic violence so hard to detect.

“It isn’t just physical abuse,” she said. “Domestic violence is how they talk to you. It can verbal and in most cases is.

“They make you feel like you have nowhere to run to, because the aggressor keeps you away from your family. They become all that you have.”

This is what makes it so hard for women to leave these types of relationships, Greene said. When the women are isolated away from friends and family, they are essentially held hostage within their own homes.

“When I ask them why don’t they leave, most say they have nowhere to go with all their children,” Greene said, speaking on experiences with battered women. “That’s where we come in; to let them know there are ways out if they want out.”

The first step in the process of ending domestic violence is eradicating the ignorance on the issue, said Greene. If more people are informed about the forms of it, then more can identify it and put a stop to it.

“It was interesting to learn about the Genieve Shelter and about helping other women,” said Sharon Hasty after the speech.

“It’s refreshing to know that there are facilities all over the area for women and that if you care, you can volunteer. You don’t have to be an employee of these shelters,” said Pollyanna Neely.