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An Ounce Of Aloha

This year the level of domestic violence has risen to the point where I myself have become a victim. It is hard to admit, but since the police report was printed it is public knowledge. We are so quick to offer strangers aloha we have been nicknamed “the Friendly Isle.” But how much aloha do we have for each other here on Molokai?
Is it aloha to become violent with your loved ones? Anyone of us who have survived being abused as children know it’s wrong to hit your children or others.

Men who see their friends abuse their women and children with words and actions, letting the violence rub off instead of stepping up and saying something – when is it enough? How many have to die here on Molokai due to domestic violence? When are we going to afford an ounce of aloha to help someone struggling?

We are strong people here on Molokai; we have so much beauty in our hearts and spirits. Domestic violence will end when men stand up and say no more, and when they counsel each other with great aloha to admit that domestic violence is wrong. Domestic violence will end when men, women and children are able to speak up and protect themselves. Domestic violence will end when bradda man learns he can break the cycle that allows him to think it is ok to abuse anyone. When sista’s stop ripping each other, come together and ask how we can help each other here.

Do our keiki today really have to live in fear of violence at home? It is possible to break the chains? I did. I am a survivor of extreme abuse as a child, but my children have never experienced domestic violence. So I know it is possible to overcome the statistics and vicious cycles.

Our shelter is sadly underfunded and truly under-equipped to have a long lasting, positive impact on the clients served. There is no safe-room for children, to let them just be kids, while mothers spend time to focus on themselves. The team of women who work at our shelter deserve our utmost respect and mahalo for their mana`o in the healing process. At times, just two workers have to house and counsel 20-plus clients at any given time – they deserve the proper funding to help better serve our community.
Because domestic violence is on the rise, it is obvious something is failing here on Molokai. We are not that friendly to each other if we sit back and watch the violence happen. Please, let’s afford each other an ounce of aloha: step up, speak up, do something to help your brother or sister make a change.

Please, if you are one of the wealthy readers out there, please send funds to Molokai’s Women’s Shelter. We can make difference for our keiki today, with an ounce of aloha.

Lisa Dillon

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