Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What Are You Doing For Domestic Violence Awareness Month (Or Where Is All The Purple?)

I wrote this last year and was thinking about it again this year. I have some updated thoughts. . .but the idea remains the same.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. I realize it is also a month to recognize a lot of other really important health and other issues -- most notably breast cancer. But while you see a lot of "pink" around, do you see a lot of "purple"? (Purple is the color that represents domestic violence awareness like pink represents breast cancer awareness.)

I have seen pink mixers, pink bras, pink baseball bats, pink shoes. . . you name it. But why not purple? I have some guesses. (We were really excited in my office when we saw Yahoo's purple campaign because we thought surely they would have SOMETHING about purple and domestic violence. . .but no. So -- we have asked them to consider this really important reason that purple is "cool." We will see what they do.)

A long time ago, no one talked about breast cancer -- they kept it a secret, and somehow it was a "shame" and was their fault. But that has changed, and we no longer blame breast cancer victims. We call them survivors. And we honor them. And we should.

Now -- with domestic violence, we are not exactly there. We are uncomfortable with it because we are not really sure what "causes" it, whose "fault" it is, what we should do about it, or how to even say something to someone. I don't know all the reasons. I just know this -- it is highly uncomfortable for us.

But put all that aside for a moment. I think we can all agree that the one place everyone should be safe and secure is in their own homes where they should feel loved and cherished. And I think we can all learn a bit about how to be healthier in our own relationships (which is also a source of discomfort for us, I think) and also learn how to recognize if someone is in a relationship that is perhaps not as healthy or safe as it could be.

I am not sure it "matters" that I "get" everything about someone else's relationship-- I am really clear that no one deserves to be hit. Or slapped. Or to have things thrown at them. Or to be intimidated. Or for their children to be afraid.

Maybe for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, it would be good if we could all do what 32 organizations and businesses in Central Illinois are asking people to do on October 15 and just learn to talk about this -- not argue about it, not decide if it is a "men's thing" or a "women's thing" but just realize it is a thing that impacts everyone. Don't we want everyone to be better and live safely?

Spread the purple!!!!


Unknown said...

I am the CEO & Founder of Not to Believers Like Us, Inc. (N2BLU) which is a faith-based advocacy against domestic violence. N2BLU is located in Indianapolis, IN.

Thank you for your comment about the purple and I totally agree. I have often wondered why more products are not in purple. I tried to order checks with a domestic violence message- you're correct-at least Charter One does not have any. I will say they did take my suggestion, so hopefully we will see it come to pass. A few years ago, the US Post Office had domestic violence stamps, however those stamps are not longer available for purchase.

So, thank you for speaking out and encouraging people to at least wear purple during the month of Oct. My office is purple and my purple wardrobe is increasing. Now, if I can just get my DV checks, I will be very happy!
My last note: I am so proud and happy to be a Verizon Wireless customer.

Kim Wells said...

Thank you for what you are doing in the faith community! And for raising awareness by informing Charter One. . .and wearing purple!