Thursday, October 28, 2010

New Resource for Employers Introduced During Domestic Violence Awareness Month

The Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence is pleased to partner with the Family Violence Prevention Fund, Office on Violence Against Women, Legal Momentum, Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape and its National Sexual Violence Resource Center, Resource Sharing Project of the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault, American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence, and Victim Rights Law Center in the creation of this new resource for employers:

This was among the initiatives introduced October 27, 2010 at the White House Domestic Violence Awareness Month Event which I was fortunate enough to attend.  (But that's a blog for another day!)

Check it out!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

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

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. I realize it is also a month to recognize a lot of other really important 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 in the same way that 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.
A long time ago, no one talked about breast cancer -- they kept it a secret, and somehow it was a "shame" and was somehow the fault of the person who received the diagnosis. But fortunately that has changed, and we no longer blame breast cancer victims. We call them survivors. And we honor them for their amazing courage. 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 33 organizations and businesses in Central Illinois did on October 5 and asked people 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.
On October 5, some of those people wore purple.  One of them told me she wore purple and asked people if they knew why she was wearing that color. If they didn't, she started a conversation with them about it.  Isn't that great?
Spread the purple!!!!