Today’s post title comes from the Facebook page header of a wonderful Michigan grassroots non-profit organization called HandBags of Hope and is in honor of its service to the community.

Two terrific Detroit born and raised gals founded it in 2006 and have been rocking their path ever since. They earned 501 (c) (3) status in May 2010, and continue to operate it solely by themselves with the help of volunteers and some corporate and community support.

They are Jackie Bobcean and my sister, Lisa Kaufmann. We are all now survivor-thrivers, along with so many more. Unfortunately, there are still so many more in need of help and understanding. Many too afraid and with little means to leave their physical, emotional, and verbally abusive situations.

The rut those living with domestic violence are in is familiar, which is part of the reason it’s so difficult to leave.  And change is scary in the best of circumstances. For those trapped in domestic violence, the prospect of change often remains a far distant hope. 

Did you know October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month?

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness MonthThat may come as a surprise to many who notice only pink … and think Breast Cancer Awareness owns October.

It’s no wonder, pink is everywhere and there’s no question that breast cancer research and awareness is a worthy cause.

Purple is just as deserving and  in need of your support and sharing the awareness.

It’s disheartening that so little attention is given to it by the major networks and talk shows. Caught “The View” on television today and not a word about it. But, yes, pink was in evidence and the breast cancer cause given attention.

Did you know one in four are directly affected by domestic violence?

I ask you all to help share awareness that October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. 

Wear lots of purple (maybe in addition to pink 🙂 ).  Look for ways to help support shelters in your local areas. Be aware of what’s happening around you to the people you know and love.  Be willing to ask a tough, sensitive question or two. Be supportive. Be non-judgmental. Share the availability of resources so you know they know how to reach out for help.

I’m so proud of what Jackie and Lisa have accomplished with HandBags of Hope. So honored to be an active supporter. So thrilled that they and HandBags of Hope is recognized for the wonderful and important service they provide to their local community, as well as many places throughout Michigan and now reaching out into the Midwest.

It’s my privilege to feature them here today, especially considering it’s October 1st. Join me in helping to keep purple in your hearts and purple ribbons on display throughout the year.

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence  is just one terrific resource for more information about this important issue:  Click for more information


HandBags of Hope logo

Eastpointe Chamber award 2013
Honored by Eastpointe Chamber of Commerce September 2013
  • Thanks and congratulations to Jackie, Lisa, and all the HandBags of Hope volunteers!

    Victims of abuse face one of the greatest challenges in our culture, because no one wants to hear about this kind of thing. We turn a blind eye because it’s just too horrible, too ugly to think about. Well then I say, try living in it!! It’s not a simple case of, ‘just walk away’. It’s complicated, difficult and dangerous.

    Our criminal justice system is sorely lacking in its ability to protect those who cannot protect themselves in these horrifying circumstances. And yes, it can happen to anyone, including one day your daughter or granddaughter, and even in some cases, your grandson.

    We don’t need to talk about this issue, we need to ‘shout it from the rooftops’. We need to free those ‘prisoners of fear’ from the cages of their abusers, and render their abusers unable to harm them again. This takes resources, lots of resources. I applaud your hard work, and urge others to steadfastly support the mission of HandBags of Hope.

    God Bless You All ~ I appreciate you! ♥

    Little John Behan
    The Ambassador of Gratitude

    • Thanks Little John for adding your thoughts and bringing more attention to issue. It’s all so true. It’s also true that domestic violence is not income related. It happens at every level in society. And sometimes having money just makes it easier to hide what’s truly going on behind closed doors.

  • For many years working on an obstetrical unit in Detroit, I included in my assessment of my patients, questions relating to domestic violence. I would also include an assessment of my patients body and question every bruise, bump or laceration. This would take place with their partner out of the room. But some would not leave and the tension in the room was palpable. I could see the fear in the woman’s eyes and assured her with my gaze that I would not pursue this line of evaluation with her partner close by. Our system at the facility where I was employed was to flag the chart so that every health care worker might see an opportunity to speak to our patient about her safety and would recommend a safe houses in her area. I must admit our success rate was not that great around the time of their birthing but we did send literature home with them upon discharge. We also provided flyers in the exam room bath rooms for the women to take privately.

    • Peggy,
      You point out a reality that is often difficult to accept, that is often we are limited in the direct help and resources we can offer. Yet, as your comment also shows, it’s important to take advantage of every opportunity that becomes available.

      Thanks for sharing!

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