Domestic Violence Awareness month ribbon - OctoberHow sad that the prevalence of domestic abuse is so rampant that bringing awareness to it makes having a whole month devoted to it is expected.

Unfortunately, as a society, far too many people still don’t comprehend that one in four —1 in 4!—  has been directly affected by this travesty.

Once while giving a presentation on behalf of HandBags of Hope, a Michigan-based non-profit whose mission is to help empower and support survivors of domestic abuse, I decided to do an impromptu test of that statistic. Sure enough, a quick  show of hands substantiated the 1–in–4 ratio.

Last year, Jackie Bobcean and Lisa Devergilio, co-founders of HandBags of Hope, were honored to be a part of an awesome documentary created and produced in the metro Detroit area through efforts of Dorothea Sharon and a production team comprised of talented young adults. The documentary titled Love is Not A Black Eye shares some of the struggles experienced by women from diverse backgrounds. They also share the triumph and empowerment once they broke free.

Here is the trailer for Love is Not A Black Eye:

As a survivor myself, helping to bring awareness to this issue feels an especially fitting topic for an October post.

Have you, or someone you love, been affected by domestic abuse?

If you are currently in danger, don’t remain silent. Reach out for help. Call 911 if needed. You are deserving of a safe home environment.

For more information check the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

  • Kathy,
    How awesome! It’s so wonderful that you’re giving back in this way. I admire your courage and strength in sharing so honestly too about your own history. Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

  • It is always wonderful to see women blogging about their own involvement with the movement to end domestic violence. I am part of a team of women who recently undertook the creation of a local-based website, http://www.1infour.ca to do that very thing — let other survivors know that they are not alone and there IS LIFE after domestic violence.

  • Sadly, yes – I have a few close members of my family with a history with Domestic Violence, Drug Addiction and Alcoholism. I suppose we are stronger for it, in that we’ve all survived and continue to battle these demons together. But most of the time the relationships feel raw & damaged, and it’s hard to see those we love most letting themselves be worn down so much by constantly trying to balance having a life, and trying to save someone else’s. The same someone. Over and over and over. I used to wonder how a person couldn’t just cut an abuser out of their life. Now that I have my own children, I get it.

  • The video was phenomenal. It is really sad that domestic violence is so prevalent. Especially that it’s happening with young women in their early dating years. That’s just maddening! Thank you four your courage to speak out about it!

    • Lisa, the full documentary is equally phenomenal. Survivors…or Thrivers, as a friend calls us… speaking up is never easy, especially when we first do it. Thank you for recognizing the courage and for help in spreading awareness.

  • Thanks for posting about this. My mother was murdered by my father in October 17 years ago. This is always an auspicious time for me. Luckily I was guided to take a master’s degree program in Spiritual Psychology in 1999 that changed my life. It taught me how to stop feeling powerless in my life, how to love myself, let go of judgment and how to take ownership of my life. In 2001 I took my father to court for the Wrongful Death of my mom. That was the most gut-wrenching and empowering thing I’ve ever done. I researched about DV and understood for the first time why my mother didn’t/ couldn’t leave him. Since 2001 I’ve had the opportunity to bring my forgiveness and setting healthy boundary work to a couple of women’s prisons, as well as present my solo-show, My Brooklyn Hamlet, about my story to several Coalitions Against Domestic Violence. But mostly I don’t hear about domestic violence in my everyday life and with these statistics above I wonder if it’s just going unsaid and there is something more I can do. Thank you so much for sharing.

    • Brenda, thank you for sharing your heart-breaking story. How awful that you had to experience that. I’m so glad (and proud of you) for moving forward in amazing ways. And thanks for continuing to spread awareness.

  • I have my own experience with abuse – both mental and physical but we would fight because I’d hit back (and regret it after). I think the mental abuse was often harder to heal. I got there though – I plucked up the courage to leave – got a room in a house and moved out. I remember his Mum telling me I was taking the easy way out… !!!! (REALLY? – it’s called survival and having the respect for myself to know that I wasn’t going to be someone’s emotional and physical punch bag – enough was enough!) I’ve NEVER looked back… Thank you for this post! I do workshops to help people build self esteem now… among other things… x

  • Hey Kathy,
    Great article! I agree that it is a National Shame. We must open the door to speaking about the horrors of this so the shame for the victim is less. We must not just support them but encourage them to seek help. Thanks for bringing this into the light!
    Any you ~ you are not just a survivor. I know you well enough to know you are a Thriver! Blessings.

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}