October is not only Breast Cancer awareness month, but also known for Domestic Violence Awareness, and I wanted to share an interview about a foundation that is taking strides in fighting against DV. I have know the founder, Christina Ford for over 15 years and we have witnessed and been affected by domestic violence.
What is The Rebound Foundation?
The Rebound Foundation, a 501(c) (3) tax exempt nonprofit, is an organization that works to help women and children rebound from domestic violence. Our not-for-profit organizations goal is to give women and children in the Chicago area the opportunity to take full advantage of their second chance by providing transitional housing that will offer peace, education and empowerment to end the recurrence of domestic violence in their lives. Our organization strives to provide education on domestic violence and spread awareness throughout the Nashville and Chicago community.
Why is this foundation so important?
“Be the change you want to see in the world” Mahatma Gandhi. The ultimate goal would be to live in a world free of domestic violence or violence in general and it’s up to us on an individual level to contribute to the change. This is why everything we do as a foundation holds value. We want to touch as many lives as possible, providing education to prevent the occurrence and provide help to survivors.
It all starts within the home. It’s important that our children see what healthy relationships look like. We have the opportunity to change future generations by speaking publicly about abuse being unacceptable on any level so that they can avoid these relationships.
According to justice.gov, a number of studies have shown that up to 57 % of homeless women report domestic violence as being the cause of their homelessness. 80% of homeless mothers with children say they have experienced domestic violence. These numbers are unacceptable. While there are some amazing organizations currently providing shelter for victims of domestic violence, it’s still not enough. More doors need to be open for these women and children to have a safe house and it’s our job as a foundation to help provide that.
How did you decide to start this foundation?
1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence. Black women experience intimate partner violence at rates 35% higher than white women.
Once me and my husband realized domestic violence touched both of our lives, we knew we had to stop the cycle within our own families and help others. Marda’s House, the name of our transitional homes, came from a dream I had about my mother who is also a survivor. In my dream she was tending to women within a home. She also shares the vision on helping women recover and has been on the frontline with us from the beginning. Around this same time, we were making the move to Nashville and my husband immediately got involved with the YWCA on their MEND initiative to help young boys and men end violence. We knew then that it was time to get the ball rolling on our own foundation.
How has domestic violence affected you?
Growing up, I thought abuse was a normal part of a relationship whether it be physical abuse, controlling behavior, verbal or emotional. I knew that my mom had been through abusive relationships as well as my grandma and this affected my relationship choices at a young age.
1 in 3 young people will be in an abusive or unhealthy relationship. In the U.S., 25% of high school girls have been abused physically or sexually.
How has The Rebound foundation helped those affected by DV?
The first thing I noticed when we started, was that we gave women a voice. I’m still taken back today by women who come up to me sharing their stories and sometimes it being the first time they have talked about it. Domestic violence has no color, age or socioeconomic status. A lot of the time women or young girls are embarrassed or ashamed that it happened to them so they remain silent. However, there’s so much freedom that comes from telling your story. We’ve given survivors the opportunity to give back and empower others who may be going through or currently ending their abusive relationship.
The next thing would be advocacy. Once the word is out and you are connected with domestic violence, your circle widens and you are called to advocate for victims who may need help. While these have both been great along with educating the youth, we are excited for the day when we can finally add housing to the list.
If you would like to learn more about The Rebound Foundation please contact Christina Ford by going to www.thereboundfoundation.org/