Monday, October 03, 2011

Purple

It's that month for raising awareness of an evil that harms families, children, and costs more than $5.8 billion each year. Less than 1/5 of victims seek medical treatment. 85% of victims are women, with women in the 20-24 age range at greatest risk. One in every 4 women will find themselves a victim at some point in their life. And it is 100% preventable.

It's Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

I don't know if the fact that this is completely preventable is something hopeful or disparaging. It's disparaging because... wow... It's really bad. Just think of the women in your immediate family as a sample size. 1 in 4. Or on your street, or at your knitting group or church group or on the bus, or in the line at the grocery store. 1 in 4. But on the other hand, there is wonderful potential to bring those numbers down to 0. Every incidence is preventable.

So take this month and donate to your local women's shelter, as shelter services decrease the incidence and severity of future violence (in the 3-12 month period) more than court or law enforcement or moving to a new place. Check yourself for abusive behavior. Learn and practice nonviolent communication; if we can speak without violence, we can act without violence. Plant a tree. Teach your children that it is never ok to hurt another person and how to report abuse to you or another trusted person. Love, love, love.

Between Friends YPG - Ribbon Tying (Domestic Violence Awareness Month)
Image by National Domestic Violence Hotline on flickr

Sources, Resources, and Links
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Domestic Violence Awareness Project
Domestic Violence Fact Sheet
Domestic Violence Resource Center (Oregon)

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