Did you know that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month? Yeah- neither did I. I know about Black History Month (February). Women’s History Month (March). Isn’t there even a Breast Cancer Awareness Month? Holy shit- that’s also October. No wonder we don’t know it’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Pink ribbons and saving the ta-tas (ok, that idea was cute) is way sexier than talking about spouses abusing each other and their children. After all, abuse only happens to them, not to us. It only happens to poor people, or people with terrible tempers.
An estimated 1.3 million women are assaulted by an intimate partner annually. As women are only 85% of domestic violence victims, that means it’s really over 1.5 million assaults a year. How that does pale in the face of 232,340 cases of invasive breast cancer diagnosed each year. One in eight women can expect to have invasive breast cancer in her lifetime. One in four can expect to experience domestic violence. While I don’t intend to belittle cancer, I do firmly believe that it is far from the only thing that endangers women, children, and men.
Most domestic violence statistics are read as female victims, male perpetrators. As stated above, 85% of the victims are female. I will probably also follow this trend because it makes writing easier (she is always the victim, he is always the perpetrator), and it is statistically probable. However, whenever possible, I will also mention the male victims. While getting rid of male-on-female violence is important, we also need to get rid of female-on-male violence and same-gender-violence. It’s only by eliminating all forms of partner and child abuse that we can make sure it doesn’t re-root itself.