Pink, pink, pink everywhere—on everything and anything that will stand still and even some things that don’t. October is breast cancer awareness month, but today I want to bring awareness to another cause near and dear to my heart. There is another color that gets lost amidst the shuffle of saving the ta-ta’s. It happens to be one of my favorite colors, and the irony is the experiences I've had with what it stands for. I am talking about the purple ribbon that supports domestic violence awareness. I won’t bore you with details of my own experiences; I am NOT a victim—I AM a survivor. All I can tell those of you reading this and currently living in this nightmare with your partner—please do NOT give up. There is help and resources to help you get your life back.
The following statistics are courtesy of A Better Way according to the most recent census in 2010:
- 85% - 95% of all domestic violence victims are female
- Over 5000,00 women are stalked by an intimate partner each year
- 5.3 million women are abused each year
- As many as 324,000 women each year experience domestic violence during their pregnancy
- 1,232 women each year are killed by an intimate partner
- Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women
- Women are more likely to be attacked by someone they know rather than by a stranger
- An estimated 5.3 million cases of domestic violence occur among U.S. women 18 and older each year, resulting in nearly 2 million injuries
- On average, more than three women are murdered by their husbands, boyfriends or partner in the U.S. every day
- In a survey by the US Conference of Mayors, 56% of cities surveyed cited domestic violence as a primary cause of homelessness
- 50% to 70% of men who abuse women also abuse children
- Homicide is the leading cause of death for women in the workplace
- Of the approximately 1.7 million incidents of workplace violence that occur in the U.S. every year, 18,700 are committed by an intimate partner: a current or former spouse, lover, partner or boyfriend/girlfriend
Domestic violence is not just something that afflicts women; more and more men are coming forward with their own experiences with domestic violence, helping to shed the stereotype that only women are subject to abuse. Beyond that, we are seeing another community come forward and take a stand against domestic violence—the gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and trans-gender communities are now using their voices in protest of anyone living in a literal hell because of their partner.
Gay, straight, male or female—abuse whether it is physical or mental/emotional, does not discriminate. It does not care what age you are, what you have already been through in your lifetime, or what race you are. When a partner you love and trust physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually abuses the outcome and consequences are always the same. One of my favorite celebrity DJ’s Samantha Ronson, along side most of the cast from NBC's Law and Order SVU® have recently thrown their star power behind another organization No More who are taking action to help break the cycle of violence—and end the silence on this issue.