Saturday, October 12, 2013

Random thoughts about Domestic Violence Awareness Month

  • Nearly 1 in 5 women (18%) and 1 in 71 men (1%) have been raped in their lifetime.  
  • Approximately 1.3 million women were raped during the year preceding the survey. 

  • One in 4 women have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner, while 1 in 7 men have experienced the same. 

  • One in 6 women (16%) have been stalked during their lifetime, compared to 1 in 19 men.
Statistics from - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) 2010

Breast Cancer Awareness Month 

This month is greatly out colored by the sea of pink.  The purple has been lightened with white and a tinge of red.  Basically it becomes a month - hot pink in color. 

I feel that I’m pressured to choose breast cancer over domestic violence.  I’m enticed to buy pink this and that at the grocery store check out and from the pizza shop.  Even my sports teams are getting into the spirit - goalies are wearing the same shade of pink as the soccer balls and American football players are having pink dying parties for their socks.  Somehow, breast cancer has become more palatable to talk about even though interpersonal violence is more prevalent. 


Amethyst – the purple quartz crystal – My Grandmother’s Birthstone

Amethyst has been used to strengthen the immune system and help heal imbalances of the respiratory tract and skin.  It is said to have meditative and calming effect on the individual by working on the emotional, spiritual and physical planes.  It is also has been used to help heal grief and pain from the past.  Amethysts have helped the wearer become more flexible and cooperative with those around them. 

It seems like a good stone for those working and healing from domestic violence.  


Minimizing, Denying, Justifying, Blaming – I feel like we tend to think that these 4 words are only what batter, rapists, sexual harassers and bullies do with regards to their behavior, however I believe bystanders use them too.

This past week I've felt like I’m living in another universe.  On Sunday, I noticed a signs for a candidate who is running locally for school board.  I kept thinking:  “You have to be kidding.”  (Note: this is the PG version of my thoughts).  The candidate had a romantic relationship with his student for three years.  I kept thinking, have people forgotten? 

The responses I've gotten so far:  “Well, she was 18 when it started.”  “He was in his twenties and near her age.”  “It takes two.  It isn't as if she was a minor.”  “I don’t think she was in any of his classes, just going to school there.”  “He had to give up his teaching license and his career.”  “He’s had to give up a lot.”

Let me back-up.  As a teacher (or name your licensed professional – doctor, police officer, nurse, social worker….), there are ethical guidelines that you are to follow.  The teacher-student relationship is an unequal power and status distribution.  The teacher has a hierarchical power over the student based on their role in the school and in the community.  Students are to obey and respect teachers.  Teachers enforce the rules of the school to all the students, not just the ones in their classroom.  Teachers are also required to treat and evaluate all students fairly. 

Based on this power dynamic – how can a student give true consent towards a romantic relationship?  How can a teacher treat and evaluate a student fairly who they are dating?

To my community – As bystanders, I’m deeply concerned about the lack of clarity in why dating a teacher is wrong.  And this being the case, how can we elect someone who didn't understand the ethical guidelines into a position where they have to enforce these rules?  Who will be providing the oversight over him?  Clearly us bystanders aren't on top of this.

I’m hugging my Amethyst.


What you can say to a friend experiencing violence
  1. I am afraid for your safety.
  2. I am afraid for the safety of your children.
  3. You deserve to be safe. 
  4. I believe you and I am sorry this has happened to you.
  5. I am here for you when you are ready to leave.
  6. You do not deserve to be abused.
  7. No one deserves to live with violence in their home.
  8. There is help available.  Can we call this number together?
  9. You are not to blame.

Telephone numbers to share
National Domestic Violence Hotline -  1-800-787-3224  1-800-787-3224 (TTY)
National Rape Incest Abuse National Network - 1-800-656-HOPE
Click to Chat With an Online Representative


  1. The "1 in 71 men have been raped" stat from the CDC survey doesn’t tell the whole story. It defines "rape" as the attacker penetrating the victim, which excludes women who use their vagina to rape a man (rape by envelopment) which is counted as “made to penetrate”. The very same survey says “1 in 21 men (4.8%) reported that they were made to penetrate someone else,” which is far more than 1 in 71. Also, the study says that 79.2% of male victims of “made to penetrate” reported only female perpetrators, meaning they were raped by a woman.

    The above, lifetime stats do show a lower percentage of male victims (up to 1.4% rape by penetration + 4.8% made to penetrate = 6.2%) than female victims (18.3%) although it is far more than the 1 in 71 you stated. However, if you look at the report’s stats for the past 12 months, just as many number of men were “forced to penetrate” as women were raped, meaning that if you properly include “made to penetrate” in the definition of rape, men were raped as often as women.

    1. Thanks for your further digging into the report. I just copied and pasted the stats that they used in their press release. I used the number for men because I wanted to show that it happens to men to.


Hi all - I really like your comments, but have had a change of heart regarding anonymous comments. My CCWWW beliefs are that you need to stand behind what you say and what you do. Peace out.