As most people are aware, October is recognized nationally as Domestic Violence and Breast Cancer Awareness month. You have likely seen individuals, businesses and organizations around the country wearing or displaying the symbolic colors in form of ribbons, hats, balloons, colored lighting and a number of creative displays in support of both social causes. Purple is the designated color to acknowledge domestic violence, and pink is the of choice for breast cancer awareness. As a survivor of domestic violence, I proudly wear my purple and have attended/participated in a record number (for me) of events this year. I should also note that in my early 20’s, I found a lump in my left breast. I’m grateful that it was benign.
The last few days of October are here. My hope is that the awareness & acknowledgement of these important issues doesn’t end when the month ends. These are serious issues. The outcome can result in long lasting effects that could have possibly been avoided with the right information, treatment and/or support. One thing that has been revealed to me throughout my experiences on the personal as well as professional side is that there are still far too many people who do not have the proper knowledge about either of these subjects. As a society, we must do more than just wear pink and purple. I hope to see an increase in testing for breast cancer. I hope to see more people talking about self exams. I hope to see more men and women safely leaving abusive situations with tangible resources and more options for housing, employment and/or relocation. I hope to see society as a whole more from conversation to change.