Today, domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women. An average of 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence, or other forms of harm by an intimate partner. Imagine that: as you sit here reading this article, 24 people are being hurt by the person that’s supposed to love them.
Domestic violence is not an issue specific to one single country or place. It happens all around the world and can happen to anyone. It’s a worldwide phenomenon, and that means it’s a topic that most people are familiar with.
And yet, even though so many people are familiar with domestic violence, but a few do anything about it–even when they’re the victims themselves. If you’re delivering a speech on domestic violence, this is something that you need to keep in mind.
Writing a speech on a topic as vast as domestic violence can seem like a daunting task. But it doesn’t have to be: writing a speech on domestic violence is just like writing any other speech.
To write an impactful speech on domestic violence, you need to keep in mind a few things like knowing your audience, using simple language, humanizing yourself, and showing–not telling–your speech.
But first: what is domestic violence & why should you write a speech about it?
Domestic Violence: What Is It & Why To Speak About It
In simple terms, domestic violence is violence or other abuse in a domestic setting such as marriage or cohabitation. Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior that an individual in a relationship uses to exert power over the other person.
The most important reason why we need to talk about domestic violence is that the more we talk about domestic violence, the more likely it gets that we will be able to spread awareness about it, be better able to identify abusive behaviors & take active steps to fight it.
This becomes especially important when we realize that many victims of domestic violence don’t realize that they’re victims at all.
Tips For Writing A Speech On Domestic Violence
1. Familiarizing With The Audience
Knowing your audience is an integral part of any speech. It becomes even more important when you’re delivering a speech on a topic as sensitive as domestic violence.
So, before you start writing your speech, ask yourself: who am I going to deliver it to? Are the members in the audience victims of domestic violence themselves? Are they survivors of abuse? Or are they simply there to gain more knowledge about it.
The answer to the question is going to be highly important when you sit down to outline your speech.
2. Use Simple Language
If your aim is to spread awareness or reach out to more people with your speech, then your best bet is to use simple language while you’re delivering it.
We get it: complicated-sounding words make you sound smarter. But that’s not the purpose of your speech, is it? Nobody likes to hear complicated jargon. And if they don’t like to hear something, then they probably won’t.
3. Incorporate Stories
Storytelling is a must for any speech. It can take a flat or boring topic to the next level, and cement a speaker in the audience’s mind.
Incorporating stories in a speech about domestic violence is even more important. That’s because stories tend to have a personal impact on the audience’s mind. They also make it more likely that the audience will connect with you.
A story about a sixteen-year-old victim of dowry death, for example, will have a far greater impact than a statistic about how many teenagers die of domestic violence every year.
4. Humanize Yourself
For the audience, the speaker and the message are synonymous with each other. If they do not connect with the speaker or feel like the speaker is distant, then they will never be able to connect with the message either.
So, it’s important to humanize yourself in their eyes. There are many ways in which you can do this. Storytelling is one. Humor is another great way to make yourself more approachable. And write your speech like you’re talking to a friend or family member–not to a bunch of robots.
5. Show, Don’t Tell
This is a tip that writers often hear: show the reader what you want them to see, don’t tell it to them. This goes for speechwriting too. You don’t want to simply bombard the audience with facts and statistics. Instead, you want to make them connect with your speech and give them a tangible idea to take back.
The best way to show and not tell is by incorporating stories and examples in your speech. Don’t tell them why domestic violence is horrifying: make them feel why it is.
6. Add A Unique Angle
For a topic such as domestic violence, it’s likely that many speakers have spoken before you. This means that your audience has probably heard about the topic from multiple different channels–like the internet, social media websites, Youtube–before your speech.
If you truly wish to make an impact on your audience’s mind and make your speech memorable for them, then you need to find a unique angle to your speech. While it’s good to take inspiration from other speeches, you don’t want to copy it. Instead, have your own spin on the topic.
How To Start A Speech On Domestic Violence?
There are many ways of starting a speech. A few of them have been listed below:
1. Powerful Phrase
A quintessential way to start a speech would be with the use of a powerful statement or phrase. This catches your audience’s attention right off the bat, and makes it more likely they’ll stick with you for longer.
By 2050, the world as we know it will come to an end.
2. What-If Scenario
Another great way to start a speech on domestic violence is to make the audience imagine something. This will not only make for a killer opening but will also prime your audience by making them engage in your speech right from the beginning.
What if every relationship in the world was an abusive relationship? What if abuse, and not love, was the basis of every relationship?
Storytelling is a quintessential way to start off a speech, and for good reason. Stories are an excellent way to engage your audience in your speech, and to formulate a personal connection with them right off the bat.
I was twenty-one years old when my boyfriend called me a ‘bitch’ and punched me in the face for the first time…
A question is another great way to start off a speech. A question gets your audience thinking and makes them more actively engaged in your speech. You can ask the audience a rhetorical question–or even a literal one if you want.
Example: How many of you have had a partner swear at or hit you?
5. Shocking Statistic or Fact
Statistics and facts are another great way to begin your speech. This is because statistics or facts can add shock-value to your speech & immediately draw your audience’s attention where it should be: on what you’re going to say next.
Example: 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have been victims of severe physical violence (e.g. beating, burning, strangling) by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
For more information on how to open your speech, check out our article on 10 Of The Best Things To Say In Opening Remarks
Sample Speech On Domestic Violence
Speeh Title: The War Inside Our Homes
“We are at war.
In this country and across all the other countries across the world, a war is being waged. Unlike other wars, this one is not a loud war being fought between countries. This is a silent war. A war with a battlefield right inside the comfort of our homes.
It is a war against domestic abuse.
Like all other wars, the war against domestic abuse is man-made. Domestic abuse isn’t something new or previously unseen.
In fact, it’s something that all of us are familiar with. Even if not everybody–thankfully–has a first-hand experience, we all know what domestic violence is. We’ve seen or heard about it before, be it in the news or on the television or even amongst people we know.
One in three women and one in four men in the U.S. have reported having experienced rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime. And these are only the cases that have been reported: the stories that are buried, the victims that are too afraid–or in too much danger–to speak out, are most often forgotten.
“It started after an argument about who’s turn it was to buy milk.”
James Harrison, a twenty-five-year-old writer from New York, thought he’d met the love of his life after his first date with his girlfriend-turned-wife-turned-abuser, Amy.
Not even a month later, the couple became an official Facebook-couple. Six months later, Amy was kicked out of her job–and then her apartment. James decided to help her out and invited her to live at his apartment–which he shared with his friend–for as long as she wanted.
He had no idea he was inviting her to abuse him for over six months–both physically as well as mentally.
When asked why he didn’t speak up sooner, he said it was because he was ashamed.
“I couldn’t even tell my roommate,” he said. “I was so ashamed of myself.”
James isn’t alone.
Most often, when we think of domestic abuse, the first image that pops up in our mind is that of a woman being hit by a man. Women are quintessentially perceived as the victims of domestic abuse, and the man the aggressor.
While it’s absolutely true that a vast chunk of the victims of domestic abuse is women, men can be victims of domestic abuse too. Determining the rate of violence against men can be difficult, as societal stigma means that men are often reluctant to report abuse or seek help.
According to the National Violence Against Women Survey, over 830,000 men experience domestic violence every year. This means that every 37.8 seconds, somewhere in America a man is abused.
Domestic abuse is not about size or strength or culture or gender. It doesn’t matter whether you are a man or a woman: abuse is abuse.
And domestic violence has been on the rise–without a fall anywhere in sight.
United Nations Secretary-General noted the horrifying global surge of domestic abuse and called for a domestic violence “ceasefire”.
In many countries across the world, domestic violence reports and emergency calls have increased over 25 percent over the last year–and keep in mind these are only the ’emergencies and worst-case scenarios.
For Amitya, it started as verbal insults. Insults that she assumed were harmless because after, all if he wasn’t physically hitting her, it wasn’t abuse, right? Just words.
She was wrong.
Although she wanted to leave, she had no means of doing so.
She was without a job, and completely financially dependent on her husband. Her family had made it clear that they would not support her: if she left her husband, she’d be on the streets. And then what about her daughter? Who would feed her? Who would protect her from the horrors of homelessness?
Then, words turned to fists. A month ago, she was rushed to the emergency room and almost lost her life because she couldn’t get a bed for herself.
That’s when she knew she had to leave. Because if she didn’t, she–and maybe even her daughter–would die.
She is not alone.
We are at war.
A war against domestic abuse.
Whether we lose it or emerge triumphantly, it remains to be seen.”
To sum up, writing a speech on domestic abuse might seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be so. Delivering a speech on domestic violence is just like delivering any other speech. If you keep in mind a few things like knowing your audience, using simple language, humanizing yourself, and showing–not telling–your speech, you can deliver an impactful speech on domestic violence with ease.