The face of courage...

Let's see, so far this week, we've covered fear, loathing and hope. I'm starting to see a theme here and I'm inclined to roll with it. Lets go with courage.

October is renowned for being breast cancer awareness month. I've seen a number of great posts in the blog community regarding this, read some great on-line articles, and I think the branding and PR are fabulous. There are pink products everywhere, walks galore and lots of reminders regarding breast health awareness. But this post isn't about breast cancer...

October is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month. I saw a couple posts and articles about this at the beginning of the month and then nothing. There is no sea of pink reminding us that it's okay to talk about domestic violence... no national awareness advertising... no 3 day walks.... Heck, it's not even going to be a blip on the screen in an election year.

As a survivor of domestic violence, I am not surprised that it doesn't get more air time. It's a difficult topic to discuss... No one wants to think that their friend, co-worker or loved one may be a victim of domestic violence. And speaking for myself, while I'm happy to have survived it, I'm not eager to share that I was ever in that situation... that I allowed it... that I was one that believed what my abuser was telling me. One of the ugliest things about domestic violence is that the victim takes so much of the blame. Not only do you blame yourself for not seeing it coming, for believing the lies, but even if you do manage to leave the situation, the question you always get is "why did you stay"?

Years later, even when you do understand the answers to those questions, the shame stays with you. The survivor-ship often doesn't make you more confident, but less so. Relationships are harder, trust is less forthcoming and self doubt can become your boon companion. My Old Goat could tell you that even after all these years, I still have to brace myself at times to even disagree with him.

Earlier this year, I wrote a little bit about my experience with domestic violence. I kept it quiet for 27 years. What I found was that some of the responses to that post (both in comments and private emails) had also experienced domestic violence. The common denominator? No one wanted to talk about it. I get it... I get it. But in these, the last few days of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I encourage you to talk about it, just once with someone, anyone. Bring it out into the open so it isn't so hard ... not only for the survivors, but for someone that might be considering how to get away from their abuser.

Asthmagirl out...

PS~ For more information about domestic violence, visit these folks...