At church this morning, a lady who works at a domestic violence shelter spoke to us. She was telling us about her uncomfortable experiences of trying to raise money for the shelter, when potential donors ask her what the outcome of their donation will be. Essentially, the people want to know if progress is being made at the shelter, or if the same women are returning to it over and over. The lady said that it’s hard to measure outcomes, for the shelter is not trying to force the women seeking help there to proceed in a certain direction. Rather, it is seeking to help them meet their own goals.
I agreed with the lady on this. I think that there are cases in
which looking at the outcome of a charity is important. If I were to
donate to a charity, I would like to know that it has a record of making
things better—-that the poor are being helped, for example. In the
case of a domestic violence shelter, however, my view is that it’s
simply important for it to be there—-for there to be a place where women can find refuge.
At the same time, I do believe that society should try to solve the
problem of domestic violence. Men who beat their wives should be taught
anger management—-they should be instructed in techniques that can
enable them to control their anger so that it does not hurt others.