October Is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

It seems that as soon as one disturbing case of domestic violence disappears from the local or national news it is quickly replaced with another. In fact, so far in 2013, 31 people have been killed in domestic violence incidents in Minnesota. That’s up from eighteen people in 2012. But where is the public outcry?

To date, I’ve seen one editorial piece in my local newspaper about Domestic Violence Awareness Month. That’s it. If I did not read the newspaper, I would not even be aware it exists. Although “Domestic Violence Awareness Month” is well-intentioned, a problem of this magnitude will require extensive scrutiny of cultural beliefs concerning romantic relationships and a massive reeducation of the populace if any improvement is ever hoped to be reached.

Nearly one in five teenage girls who have been in a relationship said their boyfriend threatened violence or self-harm if presented with a breakup. Furthermore, a 2000 study by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that one in four women has experienced domestic violence in her life. In fact, domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women.

With such a widespread problem, it’s truly astounding this issue is not being addressed more fully in our schools. How are we helping our young people by avoiding this topic when we know that over a fourth of them will deal with it in their lifetimes? By our silence, we communicate a certain level of acceptance. In the meantime, more than three women and one man are killed by their intimate partners daily in the US. When will we as a society finally take action?

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