Every so often since my last post in May, when somebody tells a story or I read an article or watch a TV program relating to domestic or family violence, I still get goosebumps. Just thinking about it makes me feel sick to my stomach. It’s not easy for me to sit here and type about it, but last week I learned that this month is the Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). We are already well informed that this month is the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month with all those pink ribbons everywhere, but you may have noticed the purple ribbons in some places too. They represent DVAM and they are not getting the attention they deserve. DVAM started out as only one day, the “Day of Unity”, in October 1981 and we’ve came a long way ever since.
Naturally, my inner researcher wanted to dig up more information about DVAM. I skimmed through hundreds of statistics conducted by big-time foundations (Avon and Allstate) and the government agencies such as the U.S. Department of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although many government websites are down due to the shutdown (think about it, many shelters across the country are forced to close down their services, leaving too many people in need of help), I’ve looked through enough sources to notice the recurring numbers throughout the facts and figures.
The first one is simply tragic:
ONE in FOUR women and ONE in SEVEN men have been victim of domestic violence and experienced severe physical violence by an intimate partner in her/his lifetime.
But this is more tragic:
Nearly THREE out of FOUR (74%) of Americans personally know someone who is or has been a victim of domestic violence.
But what’s even more tragic is that despite of the fact, only 15% of Americans believe it’s a problem among their friends.
Millions of calls are made to the National Domestic Violence Hotline while TWO in THREE Americans never discussed about it with their friends and THREE in FOUR parents never discussed about it with their minor children.
It’s not a hopeless situation, 64% of Americans say they are more likely to help someone out if we talk more about it. It is uncomfortable and sensitive subject, especially for those victims who experienced it and felt they are at fault because it happened to them. The bottom line is it’s way more common than you think. DV isn’t just stories that you hear and sweep under the rug; it deserves as much recognition as those who have or survived breast cancer. When it happened to me, I never talked to anybody at that time, but I hope this will get you talking.