The Bruised and Silent Ribbon: Domestic Violence Awareness

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October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. It isn’t a pretty cause. Unlike the cheerful pink of Breast Cancer Awareness or the bright Valentine red for the American Heart Association, the ribbon color for domestic violence awareness is purple and represents the color of a bruise. Let that sink in for a moment. Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury for women. And three women are killed by an intimate partner every day.

domestic violence

You may not have personally experienced domestic violence. But if one in four women experience domestic violence at some point during their lifetime, odds are that you probably sat by a woman in church last week or during the PTA meeting this morning who is experiencing domestic violence in her life right now. Or perhaps it is the neighbor a few doors down. It could be the mom who stands silently at school drop off or the lady standing in front of you in line at the grocery store. Maybe it is your coworker sitting in the next cubicle. You know someone. But whoever it is, she almost certainly will never tell you.

Silence is one of the ways that domestic violence perpetuates itself. A woman in an abusive relationship hesitates to speak up or leave for so many reasons: shame, fear, and financial dependence on her partner are only the beginning of the list. Purple Purse is an organization dedicated to spreading awareness about Domestic Violence, and has a powerful tool to demonstrate the challenges women face when trying to leave an abusive relationship. You can check it out HERE

There is a woman reading this right now who is thinking, “That’s me.” You are not alone. Seeking support can seem like a huge task, but there really is help available. Here are some places to look if you or someone you know needs help:

  • If you are pregnant, your doctor will ask you if you feel safe at home. The admissions staff at the hospital will ask the same question. It’s okay to tell the truth.
  • The counselor at your child’s school, as well as your child’s pediatrician, can both be places to ask for help and support.
  • TESSA is a local organization that provides resources, counseling and a safe house for women who are experiencing domestic violence. You can reach them ONLINE or at (719) 633-3819.
  • Confiding in a therapist or a pastor can start you on a path to finding support and help.
  • The National Network to End Domestic Violence and the Domestic Violence Awareness Project are two national organizations working to end domestic violence, and provide great information and resources.

Asking for help is one of the bravest things anyone can do. And it is the first step towards making a better life for yourself.

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Rebecca is a Colorado Native. She graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder and West Chester University in Pennsylvania with a BA and MA in Psychology. Currently, she works for a local nonprofit, where she teaches low-income moms how to repair their credit, and value themselves and their money. Married to her Spartan-racing husband, and mom to a son and a daughter, in her free time you can find her cooking, reading, and working out. She loves her network of sweet friends, and is a podcast addict.