I added this first paragraph 2/17/2010. John has been taking a lot of heat since the interview in Playboy. Not his best use of expressions. He has sung about not choosing words well. Does that make him less of an artist? ~ no; less of an influence? ~ no. The heat is because of his influence or why would people care. Lets not allow a few ill spoken words negate his talent and generosity.
On with the January 28th addition and original post....
I wanted to re-post this because I have received numerous emails from women who have experience domestic violence. They did not want to leave a comment for anonymity purposes but the response has been overwhelming.
I have also received inquires about why I am specifically asking John Mayer. Good question. There are many artists and celebrities that would likely command the same draw and bring a louder voice to the issue ~ Sara Bareilles, Taylor Swift, Sandra Bullock, Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Aniston….. there are countless people. But why John? For several reasons ~ John seems to be a very generous person. He has stepped up to the plate for our servicemen, for our children with Save the Music (I attended that concert in California), and now for the people of Haiti.
The one thing that appears to be missing from John’s charities is one specifically focused on women. Of course John has every right to support what ever charities or causes he likes or believes in. I think about it like this ~ John has an enormous fan base. I think it is safe to say that the majority are women. Perhaps not by much, so let’s say 56% (9/16) of his fan base is female. Should John do a concert for 20,000 fans, 11,200 of them will be women. Fact ~ One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. That means that 2800 of the women in his audience will experience domestic violence in her life time. That, my friends, is a lot of women. Multiple that by concert after concert; John is on tour right now. Still, why John? Because he is one of the most influential men of our time. If he happens to say, “You don’t deserve it; it’s not your fault. There are places out there that can help you.” maybe, just maybe a woman or two or two hundred in the audience will actually hear him and take it in. I think there is something significant about a man, an influential man, speaking out about domestic violence. What better way to start that process than by helping to erect a safe place for women and children to go. I don’t mean to lay this all on him ~ really, I don’t. But I think it would be outstanding if he stepped up to this plate.
Now I have no way to directly contact him or his people. There is no contact information on his website. So I have been tweeting him. He does not follow me ~ go figure ~ but I know that if he checks the @JohnCMayer on the right sidebar, all tweets mentioning him will appear, My hope was that people who read this and believe in the cause would also send John a tweet with the post attached. Even if you're not following John, you can still send a tweet. I have been tweeting but I suspect he receives hundreds, perhaps thousands, a day. Maybe if there are more tweets from many people with this post attached, he would read it. It's a long shot but I think it is worth the effort.
Read on to find out more and see the original post. If you would like to make a donation, you can always find the link on my right sidebar or just click here.
Thank you.Original post was January 22nd.
Dear Mr. Mayer,
My family and I will be in the house at your February 20th DC show. We’ll actually be celebrating my daughter, Lauren’s, 7th birthday with you. She’s hoping you will sing ‘Superman’ (aka 83). Great song. But that’s not why I am writing.
This may be an unusual method of communicating. I’m sure the usual way is for my people to call your people…. I don’t have any people ~ at least not that particular kind. It’s just me. I could try emailing your people but would the information reach you? If it did, would something get lost in translation? That also seems impersonal. So I’ll try direct.
I am writing you to tell you a story about an amazing place. It’s a place where women and children can find a safe haven, a place where parents can learn nurturing skills, where moms and children can go to talk through very frightening issues, and seek legal council to protect herself in battle for her safety and that of her kids, where children can be interviewed only once to reveal to law enforcement agencies unthinkable things about someone who was supposed to love and care for them ~ it use to be they needed to be interviewed many times, reliving it over and over. I am only scratching the surface with this list. The haven I am referring to is the Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter (LAWS). A comprehensive not-for-profit agency that serves victims of domestic violence. I am on the Board. We have a problem.
Some may think that reaching out to you is a crazy thing to do, even silly. But I have a reason. I am committed to ending as many domestic violence situations as I humanly can. I feel quite passionate about it. Why? Our cousin. A beautiful, intelligent woman and loving mother. Her life was taken by her ex-husband while their young teenage son was in the home, terrified beyond belief. She died a tragic death and the world as we knew it changed. I think about all the ‘What ifs’ people that loved her must try to comprehend each day. Her son, ‘What if I tried to stop him….?’ Her parents, whom she and her son lived with, were away on a trip. ‘What if we didn’t go….?’ Her boyfriend that dropped her off at the house not knowing he was inside ‘What if I went in…?’ Every ones’ lives changed that day including mine. My heart sank to a new low. It was then that I committed myself to doing what I can to help end the abuse, the fear for as many as possible.
Our problem. We need a new shelter. The shelter is the actual place where moms with their kids can stay to escape a potential lethal situation. Our current shelter is ill equipped to handle the demand for its use. We have had to turn away women and children who need a safe place because there was no room. It was purchased many, many years ago. Our county has grown by leaps and bounds since then ~ so has the property value. The expense to purchase or build is out of reach for a not-for-profit like us without something perhaps just short of a miracle. The current shelter is positioned on land such that we cannot expand. There is no backyard for the children to play in. It met the needs of a time long ago ~ not now.
We do fundraising, of course. Yet, the fundraising supports the current programs. There is little, if any, left over. We scratch our heads wondering what can we do. I don’t do well with feeling helpless. I don’t want to throw my hands up in the air and say it can’t be done. I don’t want another ‘What if….?” I don’t want to read about a woman we had to turn away ending with the same fate as my cousin.
Our largest fund raiser is our Gala. A very well attended event. We have music, dancing, good food and drink, and a wonderful silent auction. People leave with a generous feeling in their heart. Even with this being our largest fundraiser, the funds attained would need to double to solve our problem. The down payment on a new shelter needs to be substantial in order for LAWS to be able to afford the monthly mortgage. It would take something larger than life to accomplish that. That’s where you come in, Dear John. A gifted artist with an allegiance of fans. When I think of a person who fits the ‘larger than life’ bill, I think of you.
Our Gala is planned for Friday, October 15th, 2010. I’d happily change the date if needed. Logistically, where we have it is a stone’s throw from Dulles International Airport. It is a rather intimate event ~ not overwhelming. An ideal setting for a meet and greet with a star. A draw that will allow us to command a fair amount for a seat. An amount that will afford us the down payment we need. Everyone will still leave with a generous heart and the thrill of a lifetime. So I am asking you, please, will you be our shining star?
Thank you very much for your time.
Domestic Violence Facts:
1) One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.
2) An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year.
3) 85% of domestic violence victims are women.
4) Historically, females have been most often victimized by someone they knew.
5) Females who are 20-24 years of age are at the greatest risk of nonfatal intimate partner violence.
6) Most cases of domestic violence are never reported to the police.
7) Witnessing violence between one’s parents or caretakers is the strongest risk factor of transmitting violent behavior from one generation to the next.
8) Boys who witness domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their own partners and children when they become adults.
9) 30% to 60% of perpetrators of intimate partner violence also abuse children in the household.
10) Almost one-third of female homicide victims that are reported in police records are killed by an intimate partner.
11) In 70-80% of intimate partner homicides, no matter which partner was killed, the man physically abused the woman before the murder.
12) Less than one-fifth of victims reporting an injury from intimate partner violence sought medical treatment following the injury.
13) Intimate partner violence results in more than 18.5 million mental health care visits each year.
Source: National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (click to read full report)
Please help this information reach John Mayer ~ send him a tweet with this post attached. Thank you!
I’ll leave you with another great song. The one I play when I'm feeling a little down (like when I read the facts above). It always makes me smile.
You should have seen that sunrise with your own eyes ~ it brought me back to life.....