1.3 million women experience domestic violence each year. 200,000 are diagnosed with breast cancer.
You’d think with such a staggering disparity in statistics that our world each October would be awash with the color purple.
But, we hear barely a whisper about domestic violence in October.
Update: October 2010 is wearing purple.
Why is the world instead painted in pink?
The Susan G. Komen Foundation kicks serious butt on the issue of breast cancer. The Foundation intensely lobbies the media and major corporations.
Meanwhile, major domestic violence agencies and organizations don’t make much noise. Where is their media muscle?
I did a little surfing around this morning. I first found a blog post by Jamie Fleming, an aspiring freelance writer in Georgia: “How men can help end violence against women ~ Domestic Violence Awareness Month.” Thank you, Jamie for caring and writing about domestic violence.
Jewish Women International posted a blog about the memoir Crazy Love written by former Washington Post executive Leslie Morgan Steiner’s domestic violence experiences. It appears they will be posting a survivor’s story each day in October. Cool idea.
The Family Violence Prevention Fund posted a feature story about events around the country. Their president, Esta Soler, testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the importance of passing the International Violence Against Women Act which is designed to make stopping violence against women and girls a priority in American diplomacy and foreign aid for the first time.
The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) is calling visitors to their web site to “take a stand.” They are sponsoring a “31n31” campaign of 31 statistics about domestic violence in 31 days. You can follow the campaign on Twitter. At a September 17 gala, NNEDV honored individuals and organizations which are making a difference:
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) ~ Visionary Leadership Award
The Allstate Foundation ~ Corporate Stewardship Award
SAFE in Detroit ~ Spirit of Advocacy Award
President Obama did the obligatory proclamation. He also announced his intention to nominate NH Judge Susan B. Carbon to be the new Director of the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women. (See my October 2, 2009 post).
The Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women which funds most domestic violence programs was silent. In fairness to Acting Director Catherine Pierce, President Obama’s nomination late yesterday probably delayed the posting of her message and the DoJ’s poster:
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence which receives the bulk of VAWA funding has a “Remember My Name” list of those killed by domestic violence. I wish they’d remember my name before it ends up on their list. I looked for some sort of a press release. Nothing.
On November 3, 2008, Sherri Ackerman at the Tampa Tribune reported that at the National Conference on Domestic Violence someone floated the idea to move Domestic Awareness month to May so it won’t have to compete with breast cancer in October.
Quite frankly, I don’t think it will make much difference. We don’t need a new month. We need somebody in a leadership position who cares about us before we end up dead. 1.3 million versus 200,000. Do the math. We deserve better.
A lot of individuals have asked me; men and women, ‘Why is there so much pink? Where is the purple?’ Here is my reply: Domestic Violence involves more than a person suffering from a disease that has attacked an innocent body. Disease is hard to take, but it is something we know can happen to any one of us, and all though we don’t like it, we want cures, we eventually may come to terms with it. Domestic violence involves unpredictable abusive behavior of at least one other individual towards the victim. This makes people feel uncomfortable which leads to questions and judgements upon the situation and unfortunately upon it’s victims. Domestic Violence is an epidemic in our world that isn’t getting ‘better’ and more and more men, women and children die from it every year! Domestic Violence is a complex problem and one must look beneath the surface of abuse and behind closed doors to completely understand the complexity. There is so much more to say about this problem that would make perfect sense to those who want to understand. If you want to learn more, please email me at email@example.com.