01 October 2013

TWO OF THE DEADLIEST KILLERS OF WOMEN ARE FEATURED DURING THE MONTH OF OCTOBER ~ REVISITED

This is a re-posting of an article I wrote October 30, 2010 which focused primarily on domestic violence issues,related links and the irony of recognizing breast cancer, another killer of women during the same month. Much  hasn't changed since then and it is a growing problem that encompasses partners, spouses, children and extended family members. There has been one dramatic and peculiar twist to the plight of women who are trying to defend themselves from their abusers and are still prosecuted by the Criminal Justice System. 




 As the month of October is about to end, I have a few thoughts about the pink and purple ribbons and the panel of women in this image.  It may be a coincidence or a calculated move, however, it strikes me in a deep place that domestic violence and breast cancer are both killers of women and are featured and discussed by the media and advocates in disparate health and human service fields during the same period.  It should be assumed that these deadly killers are just as important and relevant throughout the year.  Yet, there is a tendency to go on to the next scourge or event that has a harmful effect on humankind as it blends in with the rest of the chaos that invades our homes, offices, work and academic environments by various media.



The women featured could be your grandmother, mother, sister, aunt, friend, colleague and co-worker who've bravely stepped forward to discuss the harrowing effects of violence in the home and community.  What is so insidious about this--is that the perpetrators are usually people you love or at one time professed to love you.  You see the ravages of abuse on these women's faces as they try to inform others of the warning signs and most of all how to get out of these situations with your life.  There are so many that end up in morgues, on the streets and in mental institutions. 



This month also highlights people who've suffered from the collateral damage of  domestic violence and are public figures.  Such is the case of Tamron Hall with MSNBC. She revealed that her sister was eventually killed by her lover after a tumultuous relationship layered with fights and make-ups that ended with her body floating in her back yard pool.  Ms. Hall further cites that he hasn't been brought to justice for this crime and that their  inconsolable  father died two years after the incident.


It is also noteworthy, that Domestic Violence is an umbrella term for the various types of abuse and people who become victims of it.   It's not only the physical but mental, verbal and emotional abuse of a partner, children, elderly parents, foster children, teens and their peers.  It behooves all of us to resist viewing it as something that happens to "the other".  This phenomenon crosses all socioeconomic, ethnic and religious lines.  The perpetrators can be our statesmen, religious leaders, medical personnel, teachers. social workers, policemen, fire fighters ....well you get the idea.  Although, the statistics substantiate that most are male; women are also the culprits-- especially in cases that involve childrenMen are least apt to reveal that their wives or partners are beating them up, although that is beginning to change. 

The bottom line should be that none of us deserve to be battered or mistreated by males, females, youth or adults.  This message is for all of us.  If one is driven or has the urge to harm someone else or has been victimized; please contact domestic violence hot lines or people in authority for help.  It's imperative that you do so ...now ....right away!!  It's equally important that we remember and I can't say this enough; to work towards preventing and alleviating the harmful behaviors and results symbolized by the pink and purple ribbons not only in October but  throughout the year.


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