October is often recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The color pink can be found on pins, shirts, posters and even on yogurt lids. However, October is also National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Statistics show that one in every eight women develops breast cancer at sometime in her life. Yet, did you know that one in every four women will be affected by domestic violence at some point in her life? Domestic violence is often an unspoken issue. There are four main types of abuse in domestic violence situations: physical, emotional, economic and sexual abuse. Unfortunately many people do not realize this, and as a result, do not seek help. Just like with any other issue that is worth taking a stand for, the first step to a solution is awareness.
It can be difficult for individuals to feel the need to take a stand to end domestic violence if they feel it does not directly affect them. Domestic violence affects all ages, ethnicities and economic levels; domestic violence is everyone’s issue.
If you’re thinking it doesn’t affect you, think about this. . .
Why does health insurance costs as much as it does? Because, the health-related costs of rape, physical assault, stalking, and homicide committed by intimate partners exceeds $5.8 billion each year. Of that amount, nearly $4.1 billion is for direct medical and mental health care services.
What about your co-worker who lately hasn’t had their head in the game? It could be the result of living in a violent or unhealthy relationship. Due to lost productivity, violence against women costs companies $727.8 million annually. In fact, over 7.9 million paid workdays are lost each year due to violence against women.
Is your teenager daughter in a relationship? One in five teens in a serious relationship reports having been hit, slapped, or pushed by a partner and more than one in four teenage girls in a relationship report enduring repeated verbal abuse.
Do you know who your children hang out with? Your children’s friends and peers can be a quite an influence on them. Children from violent homes are more likely to have behavioral and physical health problems including depression, anxiety, and violence toward others. They are also more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs, participate in promiscuous sexual activity, and attempt suicide. Up to 40 percent of violent juvenile offenders witnessed domestic violence in their homes.
Domestic violence leads to the loss of productivity, friends, and family; the cost to society is high. As an individual, a business owner, a community leader, we have to take a stand against abuse; domestic violence affects us all in one way or another.
Across the country, families and friends of victims have adopted the purple ribbon to remember and honor their loved ones who have lost their lives at the hands of a person they once loved and trusted. Domestic violence centers such as Hubbard House wear the purple ribbon to raise awareness about the crime of domestic violence in their communities.
During October, while we as a community are raising awareness about breast cancer statistics and how we can help fund research to find a cure for breast cancer, we should also recognize that we need to raise awareness about domestic violence and that there is help for those in need. Both issues are incredibly important, and together we can all make a difference.
You don’t have to stop wearing your pink ribbon, just put a purple ribbon beside it!
If you or anyone you know is in an abusive relationship please call the Hubbard House Domestic Violence Hotline at (904) 354-3114 or toll-free at (800) 500-1119.
ABOUT HUBBARD HOUSE
Founded in 1976, Hubbard House is a certified, comprehensive domestic violence center providing programs and services to more than 5,000 women, children and men annually in Duval and Baker counties. While Hubbard House is most known for its emergency shelter, the agency also provides extensive adult and youth outreach services, school-based education, therapeutic child care, batterers’ intervention programs, court advocacy and volunteer and community education opportunities. Visit www.hubbardhouse.org to learn more.