Raise Awareness, Not Your Hand

October 11, 2011
  • On average, more than three women a day are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in the United States
  • Nearly one in four women in the United States reports experiencing violence by a current or former spouse or boyfriend at some point in her life
  • Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44 in the United States, more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined
  • Boys who witness family violence are more likely to batter their partners as adults, and girls who witness their mother’s abuse have a higher rate of being battered as adults

Startling don’t you think? These are just some of the facts about domestic violence in the United States. Domestic violence is something many of use don’t talk about. It’s something that “doesn’t happen” in many communities across the nation. It’s an issue that’s often swept under the rug because of embarrassment or fear.

But unfortunately it’s becoming more and more prevalent, especially with the down turn in the economy. October marks Domestic Violence Awareness month and because it’s a cause close to my heart, I wanted to share some ways you can learn about the issue and get involved.

  • Help raise awareness – you can do something simple like wearing purple or even a purple ribbon; get more involved by attending one of the many events  happening around the country this month and throughout the year; or check out the cool viral non-profit called the Pixel Project which helps raise awareness and funds globally.
  • Say something – if you know someone who is a victim of domestic violence, speak up, be direct and let them know there is help. Offer to take care of their children or drive them to seek help, and never judge. If they won’t open up, give them the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 where they can speak anonymously and confidentially to a victim advocate.
  • Learn more – the best thing you can do it get smart about how domestic violence affects people and why your help matters.
    Volunteer at a local shelter/organization – Most local communities are served by a shelter/organization. While there isn’t a national list of all shelters, it’s easy to quickly find out what shelter serves your area. They need so much from supplies for victims to hands-on support.

These may seems like small and simple ways to get involved, but every little bit helps. A special thanks to the staff at Cornerstone MN, where I volunteer, for helping me pull together facts and information for this post. It’s an amazing organization in the Twin Cities that focuses on holistic intervention and prevention to help end the generational cycle of domestic abuse. Cornerstone provides support to help victims re-build their lives and re-establish safe homes for their children. It also works with youth who have witnessed abuse to create a safer future by teaching appropriate, healthy relationship skills.