am not sure if there is any emotion worse than fear. I am the product
of a violent home and lived in fear during my childhood. As a child,
I was fearful of my own father who physically abused my mother.
He emotionally abused me and my brothers and sisters.
When I would come home from school and see his car in front of
our house, I wouldnít go in. I was a very nervous child.
I felt alone, and thought I was the only one who had this problem.
At that time, I certainly did not recognize any connection between
domestic violence and the feeling of inadequacy. I was fortunate
to have baseball as an escape, a place to hide, but, even there,
I carried my insecurity with me.
Then, in 1995, my wife, Ali, asked me to join her at a seminar
which required intensive self-examination. There, I was finally
able to talk about what I had been keeping inside for years and
was able to recognize the impact of my childhood pain. This revelation
motivated me to share my experience. I wanted those in similar
situations to benefit from the knowledge that the tragedies they
experience are not their fault.
In 2002, Ali and I founded the Safe At Home Foundation, dedicated
to ending the cycle of domestic violence. In starting Safe At Home,
we decided to focus on children by establishing safe rooms in schools,
which we call Margaretís Place, in memory of my mom. Theyíre a
safe-haven, where students can talk to each other and with a trained
counselor. Margaretís Place offers students the opportunity to
address and explore issues of violence in a stable, non-threatening
environment, while helping them to understand that they are not
alone or to blame.
I have been fortunate to visit many schools and explain to kids
that I grew up in a violent home, and that my dad was abusive to
my mom. When I look up, I often see youngsters nodding their heads
in agreement, perhaps because they have been experiencing the same
As a society, it is our obligation is to make our childrenís lives
safe. If I had had a Margaretís Place to visit when I was younger,
I would have discovered that itís not my fault and I wasnít alone."
Torre Safe at Home Foundation
Too Many Innocent Kids Hurt by Domestic Violence, by Joe Torre, March 15, 2012
Call to Men
Can Stop Rape
Council of Youth Sports
Resource Center for Change
Mr. Torre and his wife, Ali, created the Joe Torre
Safe At Home Foundation, inspired by Torre's experiences growing
up as a witness to domestic violence in his home in Brooklyn. The
Foundation operates approximately a dozen domestic violence resource
centers called Margaret's Place, named after Torre's mother, in metropolitan
New York City and Los Angeles. In October 2007,
the Joe Torre Foundation partnered with Union City, New Jersey's
Board of Education and the North Hudson Community Action Corporation
(NHCAC) to create New Jersey's first Margaret's Place, at Union
City's Jose Marti Middle School. Aspects of Union City's Margaret's
Place will include a peer counseling program and an anti-violence
campaign within the school, in order to encourage children to discuss
family problems more freely, and training for teachers and counselors.
Joe Torre is a former American professional baseball player,
manager and executive. A nine-time All-Star, he
played in Major League Baseball as a catcher, first baseman and
third baseman for the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves, New York Mets,
and the St. Louis Cardinals. After his retirement as a player,
he later managed all three teams. Mr. Torre managed the New York
Yankees from 1996 to 2007. The Yankees reached the post season
each year and won ten American League East Division titles, six
American League pennants, and four World Series titles, compiling
a .605 winning percentage overall. He managed the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2008-2010, reaching the post season twice. From 2011-2012, Mr. Torre served as Major League Baseballís executive vice president of baseball operations.