It’s been a while since my last post. So much for writing more regularly J. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month so I thought it would be a good time to jump back in.
As I looked for up to date stats on DV I was pleasantly surprised to find many more people talking about DV in addition to recognizing Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Everyone/everything from the White House to football players help to raise awareness by “being pink” for breast cancer. Not only do most people not know the color for Domestic Violence, most don’t know that Domestic Violence Awareness Month exists.
Fortunately, with such an emphasis over the years of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, money has been raised, people have done their monthly self exams, younger people with lumps are being taken more seriously, and the death rates have declined. While receiving a diagnosis of cancer is something that can be incredibly traumatic and difficult to deal with, it is something that happens to you. Something you, or no one else has control over. When you share your diagnosis, there is often an outpouring of support from friends and family. There are an incredible amount of community resources to help you fight cancer, both physically and emotionally.
I wish I could say the same was true for victims of DV; now referred to as IPV-intimate partner violence. IPV is a choice someone makes to harm, in some way, a person with whom they’ve shared a relationship. When someone is harmed or killed through IPV it is directly related to the behavior of someone they have (likely) loved and/or trusted. A completely preventable injury or death. There is still such a stigma for victims, it is difficult for them to admit to anyone they’ve been abused. Just one of the reasons they aren’t provided the support they need and deserve.
Because, as a society, we don’t want to believe this is a real issue for women (and men) we tell ourselves it doesn’t happen that often, it only happens to those people, I would never let anyone hit me, or worse….she must have done something to deserve it. This is very different than being diagnosed with cancer. Can you imagine asking a woman what she did to get cancer or that maybe she should have lost a little weight to decrease her risk??
Every 9 seconds a female is assaulted in America. Every day, 3+ women are killed in America by their current or former boyfriend or husband. While this is certainly lower than the number of women who die each year from breast cancer, these deaths are completely preventable.
If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, help is available. There are local resources from shelters to counseling as well as national resources.