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It’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the Color Is Purple

Oct 28, 2010 — Categories:

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Did you know that? It’s also Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I’m sure you knew that because you can’t help but see the pink all around. On my flight last week, the airline was selling pink lemonade and martinis as well as collecting donations--all to go to breast cancer research. Football players in NFL games this month are wearing pink! Pink?! How cool is that? So why aren’t the airlines selling grape soda and football players wearing purple in support of ending domestic violence?

Pink RibbonOctober is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Did you know that? It’s also Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I’m sure you knew that because you can’t help but see the pink all around.

I am amazed and delighted at the success of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. They have done a superb job of getting corporate sponsorship and involvement as well as extensive media coverage. On my flight last week, the airline was selling pink lemonade and martinis as well as collecting donations--all to go to breast cancer research. Football players in NFL games this month are wearing pink! Pink?! How cool is that? I commend and thank the Komen Foundation and all the other groups working so hard to find a cure to breast cancer and to support survivors and families. They are doing a great job.

Purple RibbonSo why aren’t the airlines selling grape soda and football players wearing purple in support of ending domestic violence? Because this is different. Breast cancer is a disease that has touched many, many families directly. We can rally around a disease. No one excuses or justifies breast cancer. No one quotes sacred texts to justify breast cancer. And now very few people are ashamed to be the victim of breast cancer. The survivors are our heroines whom we lift up and celebrate, affirming their courage and strength.

But domestic violence is a little different. It isn’t a disease or a natural disaster. Domestic violence is inflicted by an agent, one person on another. And not a stranger: an intimate partner is the abuser. The victim and abuser are part of a community, part of families, part of a congregation or mosque. The domestic violence is often a not-so-well-kept secret, but one we as bystanders don’t want to talk about. Victims/survivors too often live in silent shame, afraid to tell their stories because too often we continue to blame the victim for the treatment she/he receives at the hand of her/his intimate partner.

Interrupting this behavior by the agent of abuse means denying his presumed right to control and dominate his partner. This means a fundamental change in relationships, families, and parenting. This means stepping beyond some old traditions, teachings and customs that no longer serve any useful purpose (if they ever did). This means holding people accountable for the harm they cause others.

But this is why we don’t yet have a consensus in our society that domestic and sexual violence are unacceptable. Because it requires us to change--to change what we do, what we teach, what we tolerate.

So I am looking forward to the day when purple joins pink in October as we stand together to say, “We don’t do this here. Not in our church, mosque, synagogue, family, neighborhood, city, state, country.”

Check out the White House event for Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Rev. Dr. Marie M. Fortune
FaithTrust Institute
www.faithtrustinstitute.org

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the sanctity of silence for victims of domestic and sexual abuse

Posted by MaryElizabeth McIlvane at Oct 29, 2010 05:40 PM
September is when many villages, towns, cities, counties and states approve next year's financial budget. This past September when I took the podium at a southern county's commission meeting to highlight why funding for victims services of these abuses must not be cut, the Chairman silenced me shortly after I started to address the issue. Allowed three minutes to speak I was stunned at his order one minute into present my words. I gathered my wits to acknowledge his order and said "this issue is pushed under the table by society, as is happening now at this Commission meeting. The consequences can be dire the for community. Thank you."

Stepping down I slowly walked to my seat slightly shaking t as this was my maiden flight in addressing this topic publicly. My baptism of fire was to be silenced as I expressed advocacy for that which has plagued and destroyed many years of my life as a victim of multiple forms of childhood abuse and abandonment. I will find the courage to speak out again showing my purple colors. I believe acceptance of the serious aspects of this violence can become as publicly acceptable as is breast cancer. I find it interesting to acknowledge that the percentage of women sexually and domestically violated is significantly greater than those afflicted with breast cancer. The color purple will be honored not in bruises but in the actions of brave victors.



October Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Posted by Elsie Goerzen at Oct 29, 2010 05:40 PM
I am pleased to tell you that your neighbors in BC are joining you in declaring that Domestic Violence has no place in our community. The VAWIR (Violence Against Women In Relationships) committee in Chilliwack has had a Purple Light Nights campaign for the second year. Our City Council were present at the lighting of a tree with purple lights at City Hall, and numerous businesses had purple light bulbs available for people to pick up (in exchange for a donation) and light in their windows. so thank you to you, our Washington State neighbors for the great idea of Purple Light Nights!

curious juxtaposition

Posted by Dianne at Nov 10, 2010 10:38 PM
I think it curious that two critical issues affecting women's health -- cancer and abuse -- were designated by dominant culture to share the SAME month (October) when preparing media campaigns and awareness-raising activities for those issues/causes. Were these designated assignments done unconsciously or consciously? Just curious about the history and the decision-making process by those with power and privilege. If anyone has information about this, please enlighten me. Thanks!

DV Awareness Month

Posted by Rosaline A. Brown at Nov 10, 2010 10:38 PM
Really happy to see that an organization with your expertise and prestige also made the connection I have between the pink and purple ribbon. I am new to the DV field a "grass root volunteer", working on behalf of my murdered daughter.My friends and I have made purple ribbons and have given them out all month long. The explaination of the purple is part of my awareness for others.
I am sending you a link to a story that was written about our family last week. I invite you to read it.

DV Purple Ribbon

Posted by Rev Custis at Nov 10, 2010 10:38 PM
Please see my Introduction to a DV Sermon:the month of October is the recognition of two major killers of females. Breast Cancer and Domestic Violence. Both of these horrible diseases have a major effect on our communities, our nation and in our country, as well as the entire world as we know it.

Breast Cancer is a horrible disease, yet it’s a disease that may be inherited from our family members, or lack of timely examinations and testing, distribution of resources and possibly many other medical and social reasons that I am not proficiently able to address at this time. But, I do know, thanks be to God, there is a higher rate of cure now in the 21st century than ever before. Government Assistance and major fund raising funding efforts, successful medical research etc. has helped this to come about. Somebody needs to say “Thank You Jesus.”

However, today I want you to focus your attention on the other killer disease, Domestic and Relationship Violence!! This atrocity (Man's (humans) inhuman treatment of others.

That same atrocity that our ancestors faced when captured from their homes and brought to this country as slaves, that same atrocity where millions of our brothers and sisters, those people of the same race as our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (the Jews) suffered during World War II, killed in giant gas ovens, the same atrocity where a disease called HIV/Aids is systematically being passed on from one generation to another, threatening to wipe out entire villages in Africa and playing havoc in our own communities right here in the great borough of Brooklyn, it’s that same atrocity that women, children, the elderly and the powerless (men included) face on a daily basis within their homes and in their emotional relationships. )


I imagine that someone is already thinking and muttering within themselves, or maybe hunched their neighbor and said, “ I made my way out to service early this morning to hear a word from the Lord!! Get my Praise On!! Hear a soul stirring sermon, etc., etc., etc., Well don’t be disappointed, there is a word from the Lord!! And if I know like I know you know. Somebody got a praise, right here in this church, because God brought them through unspeakable atrocities.

Now, just in case, there’s somebody here, who by some miracle of miracles has never been a victim, an abuser, never had it in their family, don’t know anybody that ever have been effected by Domestic and or Relationship Violence, then I want you to remember, when you pick up today or tomorrow’s newspaper and you read about another women shot, stabbed, strangled, raped, burnt up, cut up, etc. by their significant other. Husband, boyfriend, son, daughter, girlfriend, parent, brother, sister, baby’s mother, daddy’s maybe. Just whisper a prayer.

Remember this scripture. " Jesus said in Matt 25:40 And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.' Matt 25:45-46 NKJV
5 Then He will answer them, saying, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' 46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." NKJV

“Think it over, Discuss it, and Speak up!!

(My daughter is in a two year battle with Stage 4 Cancer!!) I wear purple pins year round and purple and pink silcon braclets. Often when asked what the pins and bracelets stand for, when I tell them, they often share their stories with me. This fight is not just for October, it's a day by day struggle.

Thank you Dr. Fortune for all of your hard work.