Wednesday, October 19, 2016

It's October and Pink Is Everywhere - But Where's Purple?

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the color pink seems to be everywhere. October is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the color purple is conspicuous by its absence.

Over the years, I have written about both causes but looking back, I guess I have written more about Domestic Violence just because there's such a concentration on Breast Cancer Awareness (here, here (both topics), and here.) Just as an example of the disparity, a Google search of "breast cancer awareness month 2016" brings 49.7 million hits in .44 seconds; "domestic violence awareness month 2016" brings 2.7 million hits in .51 seconds. is the source of the following (repeated from my post from 2014):

Every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten.

Around the world, at least one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime. Most often, the abuser is a member of her own family.

Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.

Studies suggest that up to 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence annually.

Nearly 1 in 5 teenage girls who have been in a relationship said a boyfriend threatened violence or self-harm if presented with a breakup.
Until I did the most recent Google search, about the only references that I had seen anywhere to Domestic Violence Awareness this month were this article and Q&A from the authors of the book When Love Hurts and some Facebook posts from New Hampshire State Representative Suzanne Harvey and the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. This is not acceptable to me. I have a second cousin who was killed in a domestic violence "incident." I have multiple friends who have been victims of domestic violence. It is never an easy topic for them to discuss and it is a topic that makes many folks uncomfortable because it is such a personal issue, yet that is precisely why we need to raise the awareness and bring the issue into the light.

When I wrote my post two years ago I was (cautiously) optimistic that domestic violence awareness was coming more to the fore after the Ray Rice incident. In hindsight, I have to say I'm not surprised that the NFL has seemed to do very little to acknowledge domestic violence since then. Disappointed maybe but not surprised. But then again, Roger Goodell has shown his absolute cluelessness in many ways so the idea that Breast Cancer Awareness is front and center for the NFL while Domestic Violence Awareness is nowhere to be found should not be at all surprising to anyone. His ostrich/turtle approach to this issue reflects nothing so much as a hope that people won't look too closely behind the curtain (can we say 'roid rage?' Why yes, yes we can.)

I have no solutions other than continuing to shine the light where it has been dark.

And because I can:

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