Letter: Mix purple with pink to show support

From: Lisa Shafran

Turning Point Domestic Violence Services president


The month of October is shared by domestic violence and breast cancer awareness. Both of these issues either have, are currently or will most likely affect someone we know.

So this month among the familiar colors of the fall season we will once again see pink for breast cancer awareness and purple for domestic violence awareness. And for very good reason:

  • About 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12 percent) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of their lifetime. For men this number is 1 in 1,000.
  • More than 1 in 3 women (35.6 percent) and more than 1 in 4 men (28.5 percent) in the U.S. have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
  • One in 3 adolescent girls in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner.

Although clearly very different issues they bear a striking number of similarities:

  • Both mainly affect women, however not exclusively.
  • Neither discriminates based on age, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion or nationality.
  • Both have symptoms that should not be ignored before reaching a critical stage.
  • Both affect not only the victim but their families, children, relatives and friends.
  • Both can have physical, psychological and financial impact.
  • Both produce survivors with a new normal in their lives.
  • Both require inner strength and bravery.
  • Both can involve a long road to recovery with constant support and encouragement.
  • Both can be lethal.
  • Both require broad-based education and action for awareness and prevention.
  • Both require whole communities to come together, speak out, take action and find a cure and solution.

So this October let’s mix a little purple with our pink and vice versa. Collective voice, action and support are our greatest hope and strength. Ask yourself, “What can I do to help?” Let’s make a point of working together to eliminate both for the next generation and beyond.