Who Said ‘Domestic Violence’? I didn’t think so…
Not taking anything away from National Breast Cancer Awareness Month – October – I am struggling with the fact that it is shared with another cause that so desperately needs our nation’s attention and may be getting lost in the shadows of Susan G. Komen, pink ribbons, and an incredible awareness effort: DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.
According to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, one in eight women will get breast cancer in her lifetime. So clearly we understand their cause, their fight, and their mission. And it is admirable and it is amazing what they have accomplished so far. I am proud to call myself a supporter of this mission as well.
But here’s something that less of us know, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one in four women will experience domestic abuse or violence in her lifetime. That’s more than or equal to twice as many: 20 people per minute, ten million people per year. Add guns into the equation and the risk of death for a woman goes up by 400%, that’s not a typo – FOUR HUNDRED PERCENT.
So it pains me greatly, both as a twenty year Survivor of Domestic Abuse (SODA®) and now an advocate, to watch the days of this month tick by with so little mention of an epidemic that causes the phone to ring at domestic violence hotlines 20,000 times per day. Twenty thousand victims are reaching out for help each and every day, but what are we are seeing on the news about this? What are we seeing on our social media? What are we seeing this month, this month that is supposed to be ours, and how did this happen?
Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) evolved from the “Day of Unity” held in October 1981 and was conceived by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The intent was to connect advocates across the nation who were working to end violence against women and their children. The Day of Unity soon became an entire week devoted to a range of activities conducted at the local, state, and national level. The activities conducted were as varied and diverse as the program sponsors but had common themes:
- Mourning those who have died because of domestic violence
- Celebrating those who have survived
- Connecting those who work to end violence
Has anyone ever heard of the Day of Unity before? Do you know what day it is in October? Do you know what we are supposed to do on that day? Neither do I. But I do know something: I know that this is a cause that can no longer be ignored. This is a problem that cannot be hidden behind closed doors and kept there by the pain, anguish, embarrassment and fear of the victims and the survivors. Domestic abuse and violence affects our friends, our sisters, our children, our mothers, our daughters, our communities. And it affects the children of all of its victims. If it’s not you, believe me, it is someone that you know.
It’s no longer excusable that we fill in the blanks with other words. There are many causes in our nation and there are many days in our year. There is plenty of time to get involved and help the women in our country because all of them need the help – the ones at risk for breast cancer as well as the ones at risk for domestic abuse. How and why would we distinguish a difference anyway?
Join the movement today and let’s make a change THIS October:
- Use the hashtag: #NotInOurHomes to unify our group – let’s raise awareness on social media
- Follow me at : www.thesoda-pop.com, FACEBOOK, Twitter, YourTango.comand The National Domestic Violence Hotline so we can work together to advocate and educate
- Check out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzwhphz2WHI and make your friends aware of it too…share, post, like – all of this helps make a difference
- Get ready to support our mission at: thehotline.org, ncadv.org, and The SODA Fund™ as we raise funds to help victims and survivors of domestic abuse and violence safely leave abuse, and learn how to start a new life – a life free of abuse and full of hope.
For more information on domestic abuse visit TheSoda-Pop.com
If you are a victim of domestic abuse or domestic violence PLEASE call THE NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE at: 1-800-799-7233 or visit http://www.thehotline.org for more information, help, and to make a plan for your safety.
Home Should be a Safe Place for Everyone™