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Why Domestic Violence Awareness Month Matters

October, pink ribbons and breast cancer awareness paraphernalia appear everywhere to remind women—and men—to be proactive about their breast health. It's a cause that is near and dear to many people's hearts, and for good reason. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, after skin cancer.

But October is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and it's a cause that is often overshadowed by the breast cancer campaign. Domestic violence is a serious issue that affects one in four women in the United States. That's nearly 10 million women who have been victims of physical violence, rape, and/or stalking by an intimate partner. And yet, domestic violence doesn't get nearly as much attention as breast cancer does.

Why is that?

Part of the reason may be that domestic violence is seen as a "private" issue, something that happens behind closed doors and is too difficult or embarrassing to talk about publicly. But the reality is that domestic violence can happen to anyone, regardless of their social or economic status.

Another reason may be that domestic violence simply isn't as visible as other types of violence. Unlike mass shootings, which make headlines on a regular basis, incidents of domestic violence often go unreported or are downplayed by the media. This can give people the false impression that domestic violence isn't really a problem.

Ultimately, though, the real answer is that we simply don't talk about domestic violence enough. The issues surrounding domestic violence are complex and nuanced, and they deserve to be discussed more openly and more often.

This October let's make a commitment to bring more attention to domestic violence awareness month. Start by talking about it with your family and friends. You can also donate to or volunteer for local organizations that work to support victims of domestic violence. By raising awareness and working to end this problem, we can make a difference in the lives of millions of women—and men—across the country.

Join us to make a difference in the lives of victims and survivors here:

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