I have had the best month of my life! October has been pure joy. So much good stuff. I am blessed.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. I share my happiness in remembering there was once a time when none of this was possible. If you know someone who you suspect is being abused, tell that person that there really is the possibility of a good life for them out there. And if you know for sure that someone is abused....send them to the Rachel Coalition in New Jersey; Hope's Door and My Sister's Place in Westchester County, New York.....or tell them to speak to me.
No, my sons and grandchildren are not in my life. But I can still feel joy.
The next time you're in a room with 6 people, think about this:
• 1 in 4 women experience violence from their partners in their lifetimes.
• 1 in 3 teens experience sexual or physical abuse or threats from a boyfriend/girlfriend in one year
• 1 in 6 women are survivors of sexual assault.
• 1 in 5 men have experienced some form of sexual victimization in their lives.
• 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men were sexually abused before the age of 18.
These are not just numbers. They are our reality. Mothers, girlfriends, brothers, sisters, children, co-workers and friends. The person you confide in most at work, the guy you play basketball with, the people in your book club, your children's babysitter, the checkout clerk, the woman or man seated next to you in a restaurant, your teenager's best friend - or your teen, herself.
The silence and shame must end for good. I was a victim of domestic violence.
Silent no more.