Liz's Daughter is a grassroots, community driven, non-profit organization in St. Paul that strives to provide ongoing domestic violence awareness, prevention, and education in the local community.
Events like the Twin Cities Brides March, speaking to high school students about Teen Dating Violence, and Anti-Bullying presentations at elementary schools are a few of the ways the organization meets that goal. Liz's Daughter is also working to change how domestic violence is handled on a legal level by proposing a domestic violence offender registry and database.
Liz’s Daughter advocates for and empowers those who have been affected by domestic violence. By educating each person to recognize abuse and break the cycle of violence they can prevent domestic violence from happening in the future. Being proactive instead of reactive will prevent domestic violence from occurring. Only by talking frankly about the issue and how it impacts communities and generations of families will true change come. Survivors of domestic violence need to find their voice and tell their stories. Their strength inspires others to come forward and stop this epidemic.
Marie Garza is the founder of Liz’s Daughter and named the organization after her late mother, Liz.
WHAT IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?
Domestic violence – also called partner abuse, battering, spousal abuse, intimate partner abuse, and/or dating violence – is a recurring and chronic pattern of behaviors where one person tries to control the thoughts, beliefs, and/or actions of another person they have an intimate relationship with whether they are dating or married; living together or separated; heterosexual, gay, or lesbian. Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence. Victims can be of any age, sex, race, culture, religion, education, employment or marital status.
Examples of abuse include:
• Shouting or yelling at you
• Calling you ugly, worthless, stupid or a failure
• Isolating you from family or friends
• Taking your money or withholding money from you
• Stopping you from getting or keeping a job
• Stalking you or accompanying you everywhere
• Telling you what to wear
• Mocking you or denying there is any abuse
• Intimidating you
• Actual or threatened physical harm
• Telling you there are no other options
• Telling you it's because they love you
Although emotional, psychological, and financial abuse are not criminal behaviors, they are forms of abuse and can lead to criminal violence. Violence takes many forms and can happen all the time or once in a while.
Examples of physical violence and assault include:
• Punching, slapping, shoving or pushing you down
• Forcing you to have sex
• Burning you with cigarettes
• Spitting on you
• Choking you
• Hurting your children
• Hurting or humiliating you in front of your children
Although both men and women can be abused, most victims are women. Children in homes where there is domestic violence are more likely to be abused and/or neglected. Most children in these homes know about the violence. Even if a child is not physically harmed, they may have emotional and behavior problems.
If you recognize the signs listed above either in your own relationship or that of someone you know it's important to know that you are not alone. It is not your fault. You don't have to live in fear of domestic violence. Help is available.