Thursday, January 26, 2017

Domestic Violence/Breast Cancer Awareness Both Need Attention

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

"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

"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.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Domestic Violence Hasn't Stopped, So What Are We Doing Wrong?

72% of all murder/suicides involve domestic violence

I find it somewhat amazing that many of the individual state coalitions against domestic violence have similar missions to end domestic violence and assault. For example, the Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence, states that its mission is to :
"Prevent domestic violence against women by exposing its root causes. Eliminate the re-victimization of domestic violence victims by individuals, organizations, and society through education and collaboration. "
The irony here is that the AlabamaCoalition was established in 1978, over 37 years ago. In 2000, the governor of Alabama signed a new law making domestic violence a separate crime and stiffening the penalties for those who repeatedly abuse their families. The new law clearly says that abuse in the home is a punishable crime in the state of Alabama.

So, with 37 years of dedicated work to end domestic violence and with new laws that address this specific crime, why hasn't domestic violence stopped in Alabama? What are we all doing wrong?


Monday, February 16, 2015

Domestic violence: Power and Control [Infographic]

If you are a small business owner and aren't currently supporting any particular cause or campaign, why not join BWC Marketing in supporting public awareness of the domestic violence problem? Domestic violence is all around us. It's in our neighborhoods and the places we work. It's not a private matter and it doesn't happen to just poor people. The only way we can help stop it is to talk about it. I would like to hear what you have to say. Please join me on LinkedIn and Google+.--Ken

Other domestic violence information

How domestic violence affects children
Personal perspective of domestic violence.
Domestic violence: Myths and truths.

Domestic Violence: Understand the Cycle of Violence [Infographic]

If you are a small business owner and aren't currently supporting any particular cause or campaign, why not join BWC Marketing in supporting public awareness of the domestic violence problem? Domestic violence is all around us. It's in our neighborhoods and the places we work. It's not a private matter and it doesn't happen to just poor people. The only way we can help stop it is to talk about it. I would like to hear what you have to say. Please join me on LinkedIn and Google+.--Ken

Other domestic violence information

Domestic violence: Understanding warning signs
What the Bible says about domestic violence.
What can you do about domestic violence?

Personal Perspective Of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence harms women and children
Domestic violence is NEVER a private matter!
The tragedy of domestic violence became very personal to me when I was asked to help a very close friend. My cell phone ringing woke me up at 11:00 p.m. that Friday night and as I looked at the number, I had no idea who would be calling so late. I recognized the voice; it was Sandy, a girl I had known for the past 10 years, but hadn't seen or heard from in the past three years.

She was upset and crying and she said, "Can you help me?"

Being half in and half out of reality, I could only ask, "What's wrong?"

She said, "He's at the neighbor's house drinking and I'm afraid he will come home and beat me again."

The only words that rang out to me were "beat" and "again". Sandy asked if I could come get her. I drove some 50 miles to meet her in a K-Mart parking lot, because I had told her that I could not come to the house.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Domestic Violence Isn't Always Physical Violence

Domestic violence is learned behavior
Real men aren't violent.
When domestic violence was first given any real attention in the 1970s, it was broadly defined as a situation involving abusive behavior in an intimate relationship.  The problem of domestic violence gained significant attention in the 1990s and the definition was expanded to include domestic abuse, spousal abuse, intimate partner violence, family violence and spousal battering.

So defined, domestic violence takes on many forms, including physical assault, sexual assault, psychological assault and attacks against property and pets.

Physical Assault

Physical assaults may occur frequently or infrequently, but in many cases they tend to escalate in severity and frequency over time.  This form of domestic violence may include shoving, pushing, restraining, hitting or kicking.  Unfortunately, many violent situations end in the death of the victim, the abuser or both.

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault occurs in a relationship when one partner forces sexual acts that are unwanted or declined by the other partner.  A National Fact Sheet published by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence states “Nearly 7.8 million women have been raped by an intimate partner at some point in their lives.”

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Violence Against Women Act

Domestic violence is an illegal act
Domestic violence is against the law.
In 1994, U.S. Senator Joseph Biden sponsored legislation called the Violence Against Women Act, as part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. The legislation passed with bipartisan support of 226 sponsors in the House and 68 in the Senate.

Here's what Senator Biden had to say a few years after passage of the Violence Against Women Act:

"I consider the Violence Against Women Act the single most significant legislation that I've crafted during my 35-year tenure in the Senate. Indeed, the enactment of the Violence Against Women Act in 1994 was the beginning of a historic commitment to women and children victimized by domestic violence and sexual assault. Our nation has been rewarded for this commitment. Since the Act's passage in 1994, domestic violence has dropped by almost 50%, incidents of rape are down by 60%, and the number of women killed by an abusive husband or boyfriend is down by 22%. Today, more than half of all rape victims are stepping forward to report the crime. And since we passed the Act in 1994 over a million women have found justice in our courtrooms and obtained domestic violence protective orders."

Even with Senator Biden's comments about more domestic violence victims "stepping forward", according to national statistics, domestic violence still remains the most under reported crime.