Jul 22, 2019
Domestic violence, as Karma Cottman explains, is motivated by a drive to maintain power and control within an intimate partner relationship. It is abuse of power that is conveyed in many forms: physical, psychological, economic and coercion. Victims include men but remain overwhelmingly women. Domestic upends families and traumatizes victims, including children who witness violence within their own households. And It is pervasive across boundaries of race and class.
As executive director of the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Karma is a voice for victims and the shelter providers, counselors and legal service agencies whose support turns victims into emboldened survivors. DCADV is where these “everyday heroes” collaborate, learn and advocate for systems change. It hosts Listening Sessions where survivors tell their stories, trains teachers to support students impacted by domestic violence, and engages young men in changing our nation’s culture of violence. It is also a winning advocate for policy change at both the local and national levels. DCADV won passage of the School Safety Act by the DC City Council and is now a leader in national advocacy as well. Its sister nonprofit, UJIMA, focuses on violence against African-American, African Immigrant, Afro-Caribbean and Afro-Latino communities. DCADV is home to a remarkable collection of change makers and Karma is the leader they need and truly deserve to have.