Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

One of these four girls will experience domestic violence in their lives.
Photo by memoossa @

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. Every year in October programs across the country work to bring more awareness to this devastating issue that affects so many people in our country and across the world.

At least 1 in 4 women at some time in their life will be a victim of domestic violence. That means if I stood in a room with my mother, sister, and one co-worker, one of us will have been touched by domestic violence! It’s shocking when you put it in perspective like that.

For so long this issue has stayed behind closed doors. It was never discussed because it was a “family issue”. The more we can do to bring it into the light, the closer we are to ending it. 

Even if you are not in a relationship that is violent, this is an issue that affects us all. Why? Because the cost of domestic violence to the US economy is more than $8.3 billion1. This cost includes medical care, mental health services, and lost productivity (time away from work and getting less done for not being able to focus on work).

On top of the economic issues, domestic violence is everyone’s issue because we have an obligation to look out for our fellow human beings. It’s not ok that people live in terror every day. It’s not ok that children are afraid of their fathers (or mothers).  It’s not ok that a teenage girl is hounded with hundreds of texts from her boyfriend asking “where are you?” and “who are you with?”  

By bringing attention to the issue, we are also letting people know that help is available. Please visit our website: to see what you can do to get involved. Lives depend on it.

1Max W, Rice DP, Finkelstein E, Bardwell RA, Leadbetter S. The economic toll of intimate partner violence against women in the United States. Violence and Victims 2004;19(3):259-72.)

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