SPEAK UP! SPEAK OUT!
Everyone knows about Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, and Black History Month, but I rarely find anyone who can tell me about Child Abuse Awareness Month, Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and Sexual Abuse Awareness Month. In fact, the only people who seem to know about these causes are those personally involved.
Hollywood airs culture-friendly awareness spots and schools teach black history during February and hispanic history during October. The world seems to turn pink during October even though not everyone has experienced in some way the effects of this horrible disease. We are all aware of the red Aids ribbons and patriotic yellow. See someone wearing a black ribbon, and you know they are in mourning.
Would you know the meaning behind a blue ribbon? Teal? Purple?
Where are the ads breaking into television programs to promote the awareness of domestic violence, sexual violence – toward adults as well as children, or child abuse? Where are the safety seminars during a designated month at schools or the work place? Where are the handouts with statistics of victims, declarations of how society is working to stop the violence, advice on how to report it and protect ourselves, and tips on how the community can get involved?
Abuse is like a disease — Keeping quiet isn’t going to make it go away, but it will make it get worse.
Right now, we are working around the clock to find cures for cancer and Aids and other deadly, debilitating diseases.
Right now, we are celebrating and even fighting about the color of our skin.
Right now, we are supporting our troops and arguing all across the press and internet about our military forces.
Right now …… no one wants to talk about children being raped, abused, sold into sex slavery; teenage runaways being forced into child prostitution or of teen date rape; spouses being physically, mentally, and sexually abused; or any of the afore mentioned types of victims being murdered to guarantee their silence or because they simply were of no more use.
Our priorities need to change today for the leaders of tomorrow. We need to start SPEAKING OUT loudly as a solid society against these atrocities that span the globe. They are a pandemic! Victims need to know they will be heard and helped so they can SPEAK UP.
Silence is an abuser’s best friend and the ONLY thing protecting him/her and allowing the abuse to continue.
If you can’t speak up for yourself, or you don’t want to for whatever reason, think of the victims after you and those your abuser may, at this moment, also be abusing.
Finding a cure for cancer is a long and complicated process. Finding a cure for abuse only takes one voice.
BLUE RIBBON: April is Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month
TEAL RIBBON: April is Sexual Abuse Awareness Month
PURPLE RIBBON: October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month