Whisper No More

July 11th, 2011

7-11-11 AWith a temperature of 97 degrees and the heat index at 114, I am grateful that today’s ride of 30 miles was7-11-11 B the shortest of the past 5 days rides. Today I was able to visit several organizations which look after people in need, especially woman and children. I was able to run in and out of air-conditioned buildings giving me a brief respite of the blast furnace-like temperatures of the outdoors.
Two stories stand out today, neither of them very comforting. Read on if you wish.
While riding through a popular area of Louisville, I made The Kindness Bicycle very visible to everyone on this closed off street which has been turned into a pedestrian-only zone. A father and his 2, early-teen sons were waiting to be served at one of the outdoor patios. I slowly circled as I rode the length of the street past all of the restaurants. Not knowing I was looking, the father saw me first and motioned to his sons to take a look. The father whispered something to his sons and they all had an under the breath laugh. The 2 of 3 signs they saw were; “Be a man, don’t raise a hand, stop Domestic Violence” and “Boys should never hit girls.” Still not knowing I witnessed this deplorable display, I circled nearer and said very politely, “Do you know that 4 women a day die every day in the United States from Domestic Violence?” “These women are our mothers, sisters, daughters and friends.” I’m hoping this father, who had no retort, thinks about the example he sets, in the future, to his very embarrassed sons. This story is an example of why this ride to raise awareness is so very important.
This 2nd story, I wish I hadn’t heard. While on a stop to re-hydrate, I was filling a water bottle at a self-serve section of a fast food restaurant, when I turned around, a young mother was standing right behind me with her hand outstretched for me to shake. “I want to thank you for what you are doing, I am a victim of Domestic Violence and my daughter is too.” I turned to look the direction the mother was motioning to a girl of about 10 years of age. “I watched my dad push my mom out the upstairs window, so we had to run away,” she said.

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