Domestic Violence Awareness Month
October is Domestic Violence Awareness month and so for the WCA it is an extremely busy month, filled with lots of outreach efforts. Each outreach effort is designed to raise awareness of the services we offer while educating our community on the complexities inherent in domestically abusive situations. There are no pat answers, or easy solutions, but there are some common threads that everyone can be made aware of.
October is also breast cancer awareness month, and something that really made an impression on me several years ago as I noticed how much more visibility is given to the issue of breast cancer versus domestic abuse is that women are twice as likely to suffer domestic abuse during their lifetime as they are to get breast cancer. Let me restate that again – 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer, 1 in 4 will be in a domestically abusive relationship. And this does not even include the men who will suffer from domestic abuse.
So – as we think about the devastating effects of cancer that people are more and more willing to talk about, I encourage you to also think about the fact that for every woman who has breast cancer there are an average of 2 women that have been or are currently suffering in an abusive relationship.
My hope is that as this realization sinks in, we will all work together as a community to ensure healthy relationships for all. Certainly given the news coverage provided to some very high profile cases recently, the time for this conversation appears to be now.