October 1, 2009

Awareness .....

As I’m sure most of you know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
This is near and dear to my heart as my beautiful SIL is a survivor.
Cancer itself is an insidious disease.
So damaging, so life altering.

I read a quote today about cancer and I’d like to share it with y’all.

“What Cancer Cannot Do … It cannot invade the soul, suppress memories, kill friendship, destroy peace, conquer the spirit, shatter hope, cripple love, corrode faith, steal eternal life, silence courage”.

I like this. Maybe not all of it, but most of it resonates with me.

Now, did you know that October is National Domestic Violence Awareness month as well?
I’m not sure why it’s not more publicized, but it should be.

I’m not trying to down play the need for Breast Cancer Awareness, but the statistics for
Domestic Violence are staggering.

One in four women (25%) has experienced domestic violence in her lifetime.
(The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and The National Institute of Justice, Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence, July 2000

Women accounted for 85% of the victims of intimate partner violence, men for approximately 15%.
(Bureau of Justice Statistics Crime Data Brief, Intimate Partner Violence, 1993-2001, February 2003)

Between 600,000 and 6 million women are victims of domestic violence each year, and between 100,000 and 6 million men, depending on the type of survey used to obtain the data.
(Rennison, C. (2003, Feb). Intimate partner violence. Us. Dpt. of Justice/Office of Justice Programs. NXJ 197838.
Straus, M. & Gelles, R. (1990). Physical violence in American families. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers.
Tjaden, P., & Thoennes, N. (2000). Extent, nature, and consequences of intimate partner violence. National Institute of Justice, NCJ 181867.)

Women ages 20-24 are at the greatest risk of nonfatal intimate partner violence.
(Bureau of Justice Statistics, Intimate Partner Violence in the U.S. 1993-2004, 2006.)
Approximately one in five female high school students reports being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner.
(Jay G. Silverman, PhD; Anita Raj, PhD; Lorelei A. Mucci, MPH; and Jeanne E. Hathaway, MD, MPH, “Dating Violence Against Adolescent Girls and Associated Substance Use, Unhealthy Weight Control, Sexual Risk Behavior, Pregnancy, and Suicidality,” Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 286, No. 5, 2001)

Forty percent of girls age 14 to 17 report knowing someone their age who has been hit or beaten by a boyfriend.
(Children Now/Kaiser Permanente poll, December 1995)
One in five teens in a serious relationship reports having been hit, slapped, or pushed by a partner. 14% of teens report their boyfriend or girlfriend threatened to harm them or themselves to avoid a breakup. Many studies indicate that as a dating relationship becomes more serious, the potential for and nature of violent behavior also escalates.
(Information provided by Oregon Law Center.)

Date rape accounts for almost 70% of sexual assaults reported by adolescent and college age women; 38% of those women are between 14 and 17 years old.
(Information provided by Oregon Law Center.)

There were more, but I just couldn’t list them all.

This subject, Domestic Violence, is near and dear to me.
It happened to me.
Not for very long, but it still happened.
What’s worse, it happened to my child as well.

I’m no role model, but getting away from an abuser can be done.
It’s a tough road, especially when you have kids.
But when I look at the alternative, I know that leaving for good was for the best.
I know some people believe in rehabilitation.
I don’t.

I can only hope that if you’re being abused, man or woman, and you are reading this, please ….
go talk to someone at least.
There is help, and there are people who care.
I care.
Send me an email .... i'll listen.

Stop the violence, end the silence.


At 10/2/09, 3:12 PM , Blogger Heff said...

Oh yeah, Heff's AWARE.


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