The Epidemic

Dear Priscilla Bennett Friends,

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and the color purple represents it as a symbol of peace, courage, survival, honor and dedication to ending violence. I have a purple scarf that I wear in respect to those that have been killed and who are suffering. We’ve made progress, but there’s still so much to be done.   Here are some excerpts from an article I read:

The number of women killed by a current or former male partner added up to nearly double the soldier lives lost in war in Afghanistan and Iraq during the same 11-year time frame, The Huffington Post calculated last year.

“Domestic violence is an epidemic, no matter what statistic you look at, yet as a society we often close our eyes to it,” Amy Sanchez, director of Break The Cycle, an organization on the NO MORE steering committee, tells

And although the rate of family violence in the U.S. has slightly decreased during the last 10 years, there are “millions of women and children that we know are living in violent homes every day,” Sanchez notes. “If we had a health issue that we knew was affecting millions of people, we’d work together to figure it out, like with what’s been done to address smoking and heart disease. But because this is a ‘private’ issue, a ‘family matter,’ people don’t talk about it.”

The uncomfortable truth? The majority of marriages will include some violence. The Domestic Violence Intervention Program (DVIP) reports that the FBI “estimates violence will occur during the course of two-thirds of all marriages.”

Occupation, income level, urban or suburban environment — studies show that none of these factors is an indicator of more or less incidents of domestic abuse. When it comes to racial divide, there is no difference either. “White, Black and Hispanic women all incur about the same rates of violence committed by an intimate partner,” according to the DVIP.

Ironically, it’s the incredible pervasiveness of the violence that Deborah Tucker of the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence says keeps people in denial. “Many don’t want to acknowledge it because it leads to understanding more than they want to face,” she explains. “They want to label it a lot of times as a sort of ‘low-life’ problem: ‘It must be people who are uneducated and disadvantaged,’ which is just a way to distance yourself and feel like that won’t happen to people in your class, in your neighborhood. It’s self-protection. But it’s everywhere and that’s really hard to accept.”

Take good care of yourselves,