In 1971 Erin Pizzey founded Chiswick Women’s Aid, the first refuge for battered wives. Her 1974 book “Scream Quietly or the Neighbors Will Hear” brought the issue to the attention of the public.
In 1971, a bold and innovative event occurred in Chiswick, England: Erin Pizzey founded the world’s first domestic violence shelter. Erin’s original vision of refuge for all victims and treatment for mutually abusive partners is summarized in the following quotes:
- We devised a treatment programme for women who recognize their own violent and dysfunctional behavior and we concentrated on the needs of our children already damaged by violence and sexual abuse.
- My concern is that we should not be arguing about men hitting women or women hitting men but that we need to recognize that domestic violence is not and never has been a gender issue – girls and boys exposed to violence in early childhood often grow up to repeat what they have learned.
- We need an inclusive movement that offers help and support to everyone that needs it.
- Eventually we will have to concentrate on an alternative strategy of love and hope for these problem families. Eventually we will have to abandon the model of idealizing the “victim”, demonizing the “perpetrator” and politicizing the issues. Eventually we will have to explore an alternative strategy which is pragmatic, personal, and treats the whole family.
- This was the approach that was practised at the Chiswick refuge where thirty years ago I recognised that … many of these children would grow up to repeat the patterns of their parents.
- As for me – I will always continue to work with anyone that needs my help.
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