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September 2019 Blog Post

Go Purple In October

Chelsea Martin - Youth AdvocateOctober is National Domestic Violence Awareness month. So why should you care? Particularly if you have never experienced first hand the loss of power and feelings of helplessness or worthlessness, or the fear that saying or doing the wrong thing might ultimately lead to your harm or death by the person you love. It can be easy to close yourself off into a world where physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, to name a few, only occur during the 60 minutes of Law & Order SVU on a Thursday evening. We can watch these shows and think about how horrible those crimes are and be grateful that we haven’t had those experiences in our own lives, while also being entertained.

The National Network to End Domestic Violence defines domestic violence as a pattern of coercive, controlling behavior that can include physical abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, sexual abuse, or financial abuse (using money and financial tools to exert control). The NNED also notes “some abusers are able to exert complete control over a victim’s every action without ever using violence or only using subtle threats of violence. All types of abuse are devastating to victims.”

The truth is, whether you know it or want to believe it, we are all touched by domestic violence every day. According to the National Network to End Domestic Violence and The National Domestic Violence Hotline, more than 1 in 3 women and more than 1 in 4 men have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime. Nationwide, an average of 3 women are killed by a current or former intimate partner every day. And intimate partner violence affects more than 12 million people each year.

Based upon the above statistics, you love someone, work with someone, or somehow interact with someone daily who has directly been in an abusive relationship with an intimate partner. The effects of domestic violence do have an impact on you and those around you.

Domestic violence doesn’t care how much money you have or where you live. It doesn’t care where you work, who you’re friends with, or who you love. It doesn’t care what your beliefs or values are. Contrary to a common belief, this is not simply a ‘women’s issue’, it’s a people issue. It’s an ‘us’ issue, and it’s going to take all of us to put an end to the violence that is so unfortunately excused and so often well hidden.

It’s going to take all of us to end the complacency that we so easily fall into if we feel we are not being directly affected. It’s going to take all of us to stand up against the rape jokes, the idea that some people hold less value than others, the silence that has seemed to be more appreciated than it has been appalling. It’s going to take all of us to change this culture that very literally and sometimes inadvertently protects the abuser and shames the abused; to change a culture that has long believed and accepted the inaccurate idea that abuse doesn’t really happen that often, or that it only happens in certain parts of town and to certain people who have somehow done something to bring the abuse on themselves.

National Domestic Violence Awareness month is represented with the color purple, and at Prevail, we will be going purple all month. During the month of October, domestic violence gets a spotlight in effort to help raise awareness about the violence that is impacting so many on a daily basis, but is so often overlooked or maybe not taken seriously. Help us raise awareness and end the silence around domestic violence. Whether it’s one day in October or every day in October, wear purple to signify your support of those who have experienced intimate partner violence and those who are still in the midst of it. Wear purple in support of the changes that are so desperately needed in our culture.

Let’s all together take a stand and be a united voice for change. Let’s be a voice for those who may not have one right now. We can put a stop to domestic violence. It’s going to take every single one of us.

No form of abuse is ever ok. If you need help, please reach out to us at 317-773-6942 or you can call our 24hr crisis line at 317-776-3472.

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