With February being a month dedicated to everything romantic, I feel it appropriate to share the reason why I wanted to donate half the proceeds of “Hearts of Armenia” to a women’s shelter. One word: love. It’s such a cliche, “love is all you need,” but if God forbid something happened to you or someone you love tomorrow, all that would really matter is the love you feel around you, from friends and family. Love is the ultimate high (when it’s the right kind of love of course) and the thought of a woman being emotionally and/or physically abused and in turn not being able to give love to her family to the best of her capabilities is saddening. And what’s maddening is when this abuse is justified with a “she deserved it” attitude.
When I went to visit the Women’s Support Center in Yerevan in September of 2015 after I had decided to work with them via AIWA-SF, executive director Maro Matosian said something that stuck with me: she said one of the things the center is trying to do is to teach women (and all of Armenia) that abuse is not in our culture and it shouldn’t be glorified under any circumstance. She mentioned that those against these types of shelters say that they’re breaking families up, but in reality it’s the perpetrators that are the ones wrecking their own families. Without these shelters women wouldn’t know where to turn (it’s been said some families won’t accept their daughters if they choose divorce) and maybe they wouldn’t leave, but what good is a broken family that is being held together by cruddy old glue? How can a mother give her children pure love when she’s not being loved herself? Of course the ideal situation would be a family unit that’s happy together but shelters like the Support Center are allowing those helpless women that want to leave to find solace, to repair themselves and their children, and to find jobs to get back on their feet.
I’m proud to help the Women’s Support Center get their positive messages across to our voiceless Armenian sisters and hopefully allow them a second chance at love. ❤️
If you’re in the San Francisco area, Maro Matosian will be speaking about the status of women in Armenia on Thursday, February 11 from 7-9pm at the Tufenkian Showroom on 25 Rhode Island Street in SF. Hope to see you there!