For 45 years, House of Ruth Maryland has worked to address the attitudes, behaviors and systems that enable intimate partner violence while providing victims with the safety and stability they need. Intimate partner violence is a pattern of behaviors that happen over time, within the context of power imbalances, and often behind closed doors. House of Ruth Maryland has spent decades to change the belief that intimate partner violence is just a “private family matter,” while working to demonstrate that intimate partner violence is a public health issue that affects individuals from all walks of life. Most importantly, we have fought to show the world that ALL victims of intimate partner violence should be heard.
However, the events surrounding the recent Heard-Depp trial stands as a very public example of how far we still have to go. The manipulation that both social and other forms of media used to turn serious accounts of abuse into public entertainment was appalling. It pushed against messages House of Ruth Maryland has worked so hard to send to support victim safety. We believe and support ALL victims, regardless of gender, who come forward about intimate partner violence. Research consistently shows that it is far more likely that someone will lie about abuse not happening than lie about abuse happening.
It takes monumental courage to step forward and share the humiliation, terror, and degradation that so many intimate partner violence victims experience. It is essential to recognize that victims are the experts on their lives and the best judge of whether and how to step forward or to leave an abusive partner. House of Ruth Maryland is here to help with each victim’s individual journey. There are many non-legal options that people experiencing intimate partner violence can access to get relief from abuse. Victims who are afraid to publicly cross their partners can make use of anonymous services and supports, like House of Ruth Maryland’s 24-hour hotline.
House of Ruth Maryland will not stop serving as a fierce advocate on behalf of victims of Intimate Partner Violence while demonstrating empathy and passion. We stand hand in hand with victims recounting physical and sexual violence experienced at the hands of their spouses and partners, victims testifying against their abusers in hopes of securing protective orders, and victims engaging with the police and justice system in hopes of gaining safety. We will continue to speak out and stand against intimate partner violence on behalf of ALL victims. We fight on.