Contestants on reality shows are often given 15 minutes of fame. Many of them use their publicity to endorse products or for launching businesses. However, one contestant from ABC’s The Bachelorette is using his notoriety for good. Derek Peth from the show’s twelfth season is raising money through online donations to help survivors of domestic abuse. Several organizations in West Michigan are striving to do the same, but by hosting a day-long workshop encouraging community members to better help abuse victims. For these women, divorce may be just a starting point.
Rules of Reality
ABC’s The Bachelorette is a cross between a dating show and a reality show. Contestants compete for the affection of the show’s chosen female; the winner then proposes to her. Many marriage proposals have resulted from The Bachelorette’s twelve seasons. On the other hand, many of the show’s participants leverage their time on television to promote themselves or future businesses.
Derek Peth impressed critics by using his notoriety for good. His best friend’s sister, Brenda, recently passed away. Peth knew her well and decided to honor her death by raising money for the causes that she cared about. Brenda supported survivors of sexual assault and domestic abuse in her local community in Iowa. Peth decided to create a GoFundMe page to help support the local organizations that Brenda cared about. Peth said, “when [her family] announced that they were requesting donations in support of Brenda’s causes, I was like, I gotta get other people involved in this somehow.”
Bancroft Motivates Michigan
As Peth raises money in Iowa, Lundy Bancroft is using a different approach. Bancroft is the author of several books about domestic violence. His book, The Batterer As Parent, won the North American Resource Center’s 2004 Pro Humanitate Literary Award. This book, among others, may be the reason Grand Rapids invited Bancroft to hold a workshop in October. Through this workshop, the community hopes to raise donations for several organizations across West Michigan.
The Community As Protectors
Although Bancroft’s workshop is open to all, it is not geared towards the victims of abuse. Bancroft wants to reach those who may be able to protect women in abusive relationships. This includes law enforcement officers, judges, and lawyers; anyone who may be likely to interact with victims of abuse without realizing it. Domestic abuse not only manifests itself physically, but can have huge emotional impacts as well. Victims can often be hard to identify because they may still love their abuser, or their abuser may be threatening them in order to keep their actions private. Bancroft’s workshop will teach community figures how spouses on both sides may hide abuse, how to intervene, and how to keep everyone safe in doing so.
Trending Towards A Safer Society
Although Derek Peth’s efforts may seem unrelated to Bancroft’s, they may be part of the same trend. As more people publicly address issues concerning social justice and women’s rights, domestic abuse may become talked about more frequently. When people like Peth use their notoriety to draw attention to these issues, more is done to help those suffering. Bancroft then can keep the conversation going amongst those who can help.
Rullo, S. How Derek Is Using His ‘Bachelorette’ Fame For “The Right Reasons.” Bustle. Retrieved on July 14, 2016, from http://www.bustle.com/articles/170434-how-derek-is-using-his-bachelorette-fame-for-the-right-reasons
(2016, July 11). New Laws Help Protect Domestic Violence Survivors. WoodTV. Retrieved on July 15, 2016, from http://woodtv.com/2016/07/11/new-laws-help-protect-domestic-violence-survivors/