Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Domestic Violence

This time of year, you start to see a lot of pink. Pink clothes, pink utensils, pink packaging on products we buy, pink ribbons, pink everywhere. All of this signifies Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Although, I feel this is something we should constantly think about, not just when October rolls around. October is the month to educate people on this issue.

I think Breast Cancer is a serious issue, I know people who have dealt with it. However, October is also known as other awareness issues. For my job, I always have to look up monthly awareness things for a newsletter I put together. Every month, I do to do a "theme" with my newsletter. My newsletter this month was "Tackling Hunger" month, which is also something that takes place in October.

But there's still one more awareness issue that hits to the very depth of my soul. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Last year, I was attending college at the main campus and in the library, there are all these wooden cut outs of people who are painted red. These cut outs have no eyes, no distinguishing marks. But taped to each of their chests is a story of someone who has lost their life to domestic violence. I remember seeing them last year and my heart just aching as I ran my hand over a stranger's story. It ached because it was something my mother was experiencing in her life.

She's gone now. She's been gone about a month and a half. Her death is probably being ruled an accident. However, my sister, myself, and anybody else who knew her, knew her situation knows it wasn't an accident. Maybe it was, but she was fighting with her abusive husband when it happened. My mother has become one of those faceless women that is plastered all over my college. A constant reminder of her sufferings.

Here are some chilling stats for you to soak in, taken from, although they aren't too current. I'm sure the statistics have risen. :
  • An estimated 4.5 million physical assaults are committed against U.S. women by intimate partners annually.
  • Eight-five percent of domestic violence victims are women.
  • Violence against women is present in every country, cutting across boundaries of culture, class, education, income, ethnicity, and age.
  • On average, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in this country everyday.

If this is happening to you, get help. There are resources out there to help you get away, help you start a new life. Don't think this person loves you, even though they are beating you. They don't. No matter what happened, my mother wouldn't leave him. She did once momentarily, but went back to him. She once told me that he beat her up so bad one Christmas, that she thought she was going to die. From that point forward, she told me she never celebrated Christmas because she always remembered that one beating.

My mother swore her husband loved her, swore he didn't mean to hit her. He, himself, told me how much he loved my mother, how much he loved God. I told him if he loved my mother as well as God, he wouldn't be beating my mother. She never got help. Now, she is dead...

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