|October is Domestic Violence & Breast Cancer Awareness Month|
Have you ever watched a football game and thought there was something wrong with your HD TV, when everything from the players' shoes to the cheerleaders' uniforms turned pink?
The NFL has agreed to work with the American Cancer Society during the month of October to support breast cancer awareness and education. It's sad that the NFL never wears a "purple" ribbon to support domestic violence awareness, because the month of October is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Before you get so excited about what the NFL is doing to end breast cancer, please read "The NFL's Pink October Does Not Raise Money for Cancer Research" by Smriti Sinha. Matt Levin makes the NFL's support of breast cancer awareness a little clearer in his article in the Houston Chronicle, where he states:
"The issue with football’s self-congratulatory awareness month goes beyond pink pom-poms, pink penalty flags and pink cleats. Hardly any of the money raised during this month even reaches the American Cancer Society. But the criticism – many from breast cancer survivors – hasn't phased the NFL or many of its partners. "
After looking at some of the facts, it's hard to understand why large corporations like the NFL choose to support breast cancer awareness and refuse to even talk about domestic violence - an epidemic that has devastating effects on twice as many women.
Breast cancer statistics
According to the non-profit organization breastcancer. org -
"About 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime."
Statistics from the Centers for DiseaseControl (CDC) for 2012 indicate that 41,150 women and 405 men in the United States died from breast cancer.
Domestic violence statistics
According to the National CoalitionAgainst Domestic Violence -
"1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of [some form of] physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime."
Alanna Vagianos, in her recent article for the Huffington Post, made an alarming comparison between the deaths in the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and the number of deaths from domestic violence. Here's what she reported:
"The number of American troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq between 2001 and 2012 was 6,488. The number of American women who were murdered by current or ex male partners during that time was 11,766. That's nearly double the amount of casualties lost during war."
She went on to report that there are three women murdered each day in the United States by a current or former male partner.
Economic impact of breast cancer
An article by Judy Silverman, Erika Edwards and Stacey Naggiar at NBC News states:
"Two years after they were diagnosed, 30 percent of the women who got chemo were unemployed, compared to 14 percent of the women who did not. "
The study "Working With Cancer" conducted by the United Kingdom, United States, and Australia, states that between 10% and 38% of employees do not return to work following treatment for cancer. This study went on to conclude that "Employees who are not offered alternative working arrangements during and following cancer treatment may be up to 15 times more likely to experience significant financial difficulties."
Economic impact of domestic violence
According to Employers Against DomesticViolence, domestic violence affects productivity and increases absenteeism. Not only do the abuse victims miss work, but the batterers may also be less productive due to incarceration or legal proceedings resulting from domestic violence.
According to an article by Dr. Robert Pearl for Forbes,
"Each year, an estimated 8 million days of paid work is lost in the U.S. because of domestic violence."
Dr. Peal goes on to say that domestic violence costs $5.8 billion in higher medical costs and $2.5 billion in lost productivity each year in the U. S.
Domestic violence needs more attention
Yes, we certainly want to find a cure for breast cancer. When large corporations like the NFL wear pink, there could be no better campaign for public awareness and education, but someone has to fund research to finally destroy breast cancer. Who will provide the money for adequate research?
Ann Friedman put it best in her article for NY Magazine -
"It’s not outrageous to think that, with a little bit of corporate backing, the color purple could become a shorthand for “domestic violence is not okay” — and that such a campaign could make a massive difference in saving women’s lives. It is probably, however, a bit outrageous to think that such a campaign is possible in October. This month is already spoken for. "
When we choose to ignore the domestic violence problem, we are basically saying that it is just a personal problem and hopefully it will just go away. Well, it won't just go away! Does it make sense to you for us to ignore an epidemic that allows 1 out of 3 women to be beaten or emotionally abused in their own homes, while their children watch?
Will you wear purple for those women and children who live each day of their lives in fear? If so, please support domestic violence awareness and pass this on to someone you know. Thanks.