The month of October is shared by Domestic Violence and Breast Cancer Awareness. Both of these issues either have, are currently, or will most likely affect someone we know.
So this month among the familiar colors of the fall season we will once again see Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness and Purple for Domestic Violence Awareness. And for very good reason:
About 1 in 8 U.S. (about 12 percent) women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of their lifetime. For men this number is 1 in 1,000 (American Cancer Society June 2016)
More than 1 in 3 women (35.6 percent) and more than 1 in 4 men (28.5 percent) in the US have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime. (Center for Disease Control, 2010)
One in three adolescent girls in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner. (Davis, Antoinette, MPH. 2008. Interpersonal and Physical Dating Violence among Teens. The National Council on Crime and Delinquency Focus).
Although clearly very different issues they bear a striking number of similarities:
Both mainly affect women, however not exclusively.
Neither discriminate based on age, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, or nationality.
Both have symptoms that should not be ignored before reaching a critical stage.
Both affect not only the victim but their families, children, relatives and friends.
Both have can have physical, psychological and financial impact.
Both produce survivors with a new normal in their lives.
Both require inner strength and bravery.
Both can involve a long road to recovery with constant support and encouragement.
Both can be lethal.
Both require broad based education and action for awareness and prevention.
Both require whole communities to come together to speak out, take action, find a cure and solution.
So this October let’s mix a little purple with our pink and vice-versa. Collective voice, action and support is our greatest hope and strength. Ask yourself, “What can I do to help?”
You can start by joining us at Cummins Seymour Engine plant at 1:30 p.m. Oct. 19 as we honor the lives lost to Domestic Violence in Indiana over the past year with our clothesline project. Can’t make it to the event? The clothesline will remain throughout the remainder of October so you can stop by anytime to pay your respects. Let’s make a point of working together to eliminate both of these issues for the next generation and beyond.
Charlotte Moss is community services director for Jackson County for Turning Point Domestic Violence Services.