October is Breast cancer awareness month (which we are doing a little fundraiser for hint hint) BUT did you know it is also Domestic Violence Awareness month?
This is a blog about fitness and health but this post is not. This IS about the health of our families and our hearts… and our society.
I originally wrote this post when domestic violence struck an unimaginable tragedy on an entire family in our little neighborhood but it’s emotionally exhausting and I never ended up finishing it. So instead of referring to that specific incident, I’ll generalize.
When you hear of about horrific stories of domestic violence, money is gifted to funds set up to help survivors, someone might host a benefit or a memorial – and these are wonderful displays of love and support that are much needed and I hope you would participate in BUT I hope you’ll keep reading for what I think are even more important ways to help … all of us… while honoring them.
I am a big advocate of domestic violence awareness and am well aware of its tragic, long-term effects. Our family has suffered it’s own loss to this evil. This was before facebook and gofundme accounts, which would have been a great help during that time, but even better than that would have been support before it got to the point, support in intervening before the tragedy instead of the helping hands after it had already happened.
In my opinion, one of the very best ways to show your support and love is to educate yourself about domestic violence and to advocate for the organizations and laws that protect families. Domestic violence is not what you think it is, and it happens where you don’t expect it. Even after having gone through the tragedy of this kind of loss, I will admit that I didn’t realize how rampant this problem was until I started reading about it more. As the mother of 2 girls who are now teenagers this scares the crap out of me and it should scare you too:
“1 in 3 adolescents has been abused either physically, sexually or emotionally by a dating partner” this is just ONE statistic paraphrased from here – you need to click and read that page if nothing else than for a reality check
Domestic violence doesn’t just happen in “someone else’s” living room – it affects people from all walks of life, all ages, all intelligence levels, those all alone and those with tons of family, those from good upbringings and those not, those of poverty and of privilege and it’s dangerous to ignore, because it doesn’t even have to be YOUR partner to find yourself caught in the middle (people in the workplace get caught in the middle, the little family from the first paragraph was only distantly related to the abuser and his victim, and I can’t even describe the after-effects of our own family losing a loved one) … if you do nothing else DO THIS!! educate and be aware!
**and especially for your children as they grow, correct their misunderstandings of what domestic violence is so you can protect them! more on that here **
And if you can lend a helping hand – imagine being in a circumstance where a bag of deodorant and toothpaste are a welcome gift, because you’ve left literally everything behind to get to safety … call and find out what your local shelter needs, open your heart to those suffering in silence, do one little thing to make your world a better place – that seems the best way to honor the lives of others.