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October is known not only for children dressing up in costumes, parading around the streets, ringing doorbells, seeking sweet treats. It’s also Breast Cancer Awareness month, a truly notable cause. Men sport pink as a show of support, an abundance of people donate money and show support by purchasing and/or wearing anything pink. There’s also a lesser known but equally important cause in October – Domestic Violence Awareness.
Domestic Violence Awareness
Domestic Violence for many years has been “ignored or treated as a private matter where victims were left to suffer in silence without hope of intervention” said President Barack Obama on Monday, October 1st when he signed the proclamation officially designating October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This is a giant leap of forward progress for what started in October 1981 as a Day of Unity observed by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Domestic violence comes in many forms of abuse, ranging from physical to emotional and financial to verbal. Physical abuse is often used synonymously with domestic violence because it is the only one of the abuses that presents physical evidence. On average, one in three US women, lose their life everyday as a result of domestic violence. Teen girls and young ladies between the ages of 16 and 24, are considered the most vulnerable to intimate partner and dating violence. Not only are the women affected, the children involved exposed to such violence between supposed loved ones also has profound effects.
Cycle of Violence
At 17 years old, I found myself lying on the ground with a man – my 20-year-old boyfriend – standing over top of me. My vision was blurred and my heart racing. As his hand rose, I instinctively shielded my face with my arms. In the next moment, I felt the sting of my sneakers slapping against the one part of my face left uncovered. As I moved my arms to shield that space and the other to swat his arm away, I felt the sneaker hit my arm… then my leg… then back to my face. I squirmed around on the ground until I was able to come to my feet. I ran to my car thinking ‘I could hop in and drive away’. As I opened the door, he grabbed my hair, which was fashioned in a ponytail, and threw me back to the ground. He yelled obscenities at me for attempting to run away. The cycle began again until I was finally able to get away. But when I left, my light skin was marked by the event with black, blue, and purple bruises scattered across my arms, legs, and face. My cheek had the Nike swoosh logo imprinted in red.
A cycle of violence had begun in my life and contrary to what some people believe, my self-esteem wasn’t low, I wasn’t looking for sympathy… neither are any of the women exposed to domestic violence. Women don’t ask to willingly be part of a violent destructive abusive relationship. It happens gradually over time. As abusers are expert manipulators. Stand with me. Stand with the plethora of women whom are no longer victims but overcomers of an abusive relationship. Let’s not alienate them. Let’s support them. Encourage them. Remind them they are not alone and there are people who care. People who won’t criticize them or judge them or belittle them.
If you or someone you know has been affected by domestic violence, we at SennySen encourage you to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800.799.SAFE or visit them on the web at www.TheHotline.org.
When you grab your pink ribbon, don’t forget to grab a purple one too. Won’t you stand with us against Domestic Violence?
Originally posted on Luv & Relationships.