Breast cancer gets all the press this month and I don’t want to minimize the seriousness of that because I’ve known several survivors, but I can’t let October go by without pointing out that in reality, more women are affected by violence from family, spouses, and intimate partners than breast cancer – 1 in 4 here in the U.S. – and yet so many people still want to pretend like domestic violence doesn’t exist anymore.
Domestic violence is a huge health issue. Huge. It kills and injures far too many women. And children. And yes, men. It is NOT “just a women’s issue.” And unlike cancer, there IS a cure. This is a totally preventable and unnecessary problem, folks. Totally. There is no logical reason for it to keep happening.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month here in the U.S., so when you see purple ribbons like these, know that they are honoring all of the lives lost, as well as celebrating all the lives found and rebuilt. Each and every one of you reading this post knows someone affected by this. More than one someone. Even if you don’t realize it. We are all around you. All the time. Everywhere you go. The victims, the survivors, the abusers. We look just like you.
Break the lingering silence. Get help. Give help. Ditch the shame and judgement. All of it. Ditch the myths. Stop asking why the women stay with their men and start asking why do the men abuse their women? And most of all, believe. Believe that it does happen here. That change and healing is possible. That we can make things better together.