A message from WVCADV on

Independence Day

Freedom without safety is not freedom 

This Independence Day – as we celebrate the ideals of freedom, liberty, justice, equality, and the pursuit of happiness – let’s take a moment to remember that people in relationships with violent, controlling partners cannot fully participate in our democracy.

A graphic of red, white, and blue bunting, and cowboy boots. The graphic reads "Independence Day:, everyone deserves freedom from violence. These boots are made for walking to safety."

“There is no individual freedom without safety,” explained Joyce Yedlosky, a Team Coordinator for the West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WVCADV). “Abusive relationships are the opposite of freedom and independence.  When we don’t have fundamental safety in our own homes, we are not free to pursue happiness. We are not free to pursue justice. Victims of domestic violence are not free until they are free from violence.”

WVCADV works to ensure that victims of domestic violence have the assistance they need to leave abusive relationships and access safety, so they can pursue happiness, justice, freedom, and all the rights promised by our Constitution.

From the very beginnings of our state – as we broke away from those who sought to enslave Black people – to the present day, as we fight to ensure that “y’all means all,” this ideal of freedom is such a fundamental West Virginia value that it even lives in our state motto: “Montani Semper Liberi,” meaning “Mountaineers are always free.”

So as we celebrate this holiday, let us remember that WVCADV’s work to transform public policy and promote justice for survivors – including financial independence and freedom from violence – are issues at the very heart of achieving individual freedom.

“The very core of our work is to free those who are trapped by violence and the fear of violence,” said Tonia Thomas, a Team Coordinator for WVCADV.

You can join that work: help WVCADV create a safer future for all West Virginians.

Happy Independence Day, Mountaineers!

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Graphic that reads "Celebrating freedom, 4th of July, Fly to safety, freedom from violence. On the image, there is a stylized eagle in flight.

Wade Warren

A graphic with an abundance of fireworks exploding, along with the words "Fireworks in the sky, not in the home. Independence Day."

Jane Cooper

A graphic of red white and blue bunting, and an American flag. The graphic reads In the United States, everyone deserves freedom from violence."

Esther Howarda

A graphic depicting the statue of liberty and fireworks. The words read "An abusive relationship is the opposite of freedom and independence. You are not alone. Help is available. You deserve to be safe."