October Is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Read the proclamation from President Obama here.
October’s always been one of my favorite months, ever since I was a little girl. Halloween candy was a major contributor to that, plus I’ve always had somewhat of a morbid sense of humor, so as I grew older all the horror movies being released became my new faves.
Later in life, I started to appreciate October for what I deem to be perfect weather and now most importantly, because it’s “National Domestic Violence Awareness Month”.
Domestic violence is an issue I feel strongly about because it’s reached epidemic proportions in our society. Not only that, but I – like many women – have had a first hand experience with domestic violence.
Statistics say that one in four women will be the victim of domestic violence, but I believe domestic violence will affect nearly everyone at some point in their lives, whether it be in an intimate relationship, witnessing abuse between parents as a child or having been abused as a child.
In the news today, violence is pretty much all we see. A few weeks ago, we saw Tila Tequila’s troubles with football player Shawne Merriman; followed by the sentencing of Chris Brown in the beating of Rihanna.
Shortly after that, it was the tragic, videotaped beating death of Derrion Albert, prompting #stoptheviolence to become a trending topic on Twitter (A memorial page has been set up – you can follow @DerrionAlbert to get updates via Twitter).
Just a day or so before Derrion Albert was laid to rest, 13 year old Kevin Miller was gunned down in his Queens, NY neighborhood and the suspect police have in custody is only 16 years old.
These violent kids are often being created by violent parents. Studies are showing that exposure to violence in the home is a significant indicator of violent behavior later in life.
How many more beatings and killings haven’t we heard about? How many didn’t make the news? In fact, how many went unreported? Especially in our “stop snitching” society, where it’s “cooler” to videotape a beating and post it on YouTube than intervene. Are we really this cowardly?!
If you’re in an abusive relationship, get out. No matter what your abuser tells you, it’s NOT going to get better. It’s hard but there’s help out there. If you’re not doing it for yourself, do it for your kids.
And if you know someone who’s being abused, help them make the right decision. Don’t just turn a blind eye. Educate your friends and family on what domestic violence is – show what you know! It’s better to spread knowledge than it is to spread other things, like rumors or STDs.
Violence is about control and we need to take back our power and control as a nation and as a society. STOP THE VIOLENCE!
Resources: The National Domestic Violence Hotline provides services in English and Spanish, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you or someone you know is being abused, contact the hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).