Domestic Violence Awareness Month is just around the corner (nationally recognized throughout the entire month of October!) and one of the first events taking place to mark the occasion will be on Saturday, October 6th in Waianae for a “kNOw more” march.
Starting at 9:00am with an opening oli, the 45 minute march will begin at 10:00am. In between will be registration and t-shirt distribution for those who have already pre-registered BUT any and all remaining t-shirts will be given away starting at 9:45am.
The “kNOw more” march and accompanying events will be at Hale Na’au Pono’s Pahoa Building (in between Golden House and Waianae Drug Store) at 85-888 Farrington Highway. After the march, everyone will return to the staging area for FREE SHAVE ICE and to hear presentations that’ll start at 11:00am and wrap up with closing remarks by 11:45am.
I have to say, I absolutely LOVE the name of this event – the “kNOw more” march – and really appreciate the double meaning behind it. DV Awareness Month is not only a time to unite to call attention to a problem that’s ripping our relationships, families and communities apart (the “NO more”) but is also a time to educate and familiarize folks about the warning signs and consequences of DV (the “know more” part) because if unnoticed or ignored, lives could literally be lost.
DV awareness and education is no different then calling attention to and educating people about fire safety – we teach “Stop, drop and roll” just as we teach “No, go and tell”; we tell everyone what the warning signs are, who to call for help and run through exit plans with our children so everyone knows how to get out of the house safely right? No different for domestic violence because like a fire, the last thing you want with DV is for it to catch you by surprise (and I hate to say this, but the elements of deception and surprise are a part of DV’s nature).
One of the key differences between fire and DV prevention is that for DV, we don’t have any “abuser alarms” to install that’d warn everyone when an abuser is present (but wouldn’t that be a cool option?) Until such a day the only thing we can do is train each other on how to become “abuser alarms” and I have to tell ya – DV is such a complicated mess that I’m STILL learning more about it!
One of the more difficult parts of this education is having the humility to continue to be open to learning and correction. Some of our information has been updated and improved upon throughout the years (ie: the “Battered Woman’s Syndrome” as described by Dr. Lenore Walker http://www.helpfordomesticviolence.com/BatteredWomansSyndrome.htm is more recognized these days as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) whereas some stuff like “Parental Alienation” and the “reprogramming camps” need to be tossed out completely and banished forever as crimes against humanity!
An objection I constantly get in trying to inform and educate is
“That (DV) is not MY problem and no one I know would be stupid enough to get tangled up in something like that!”
Well, I have to tell ya – if you haven’t experienced it, I’m sincerely grateful that you’ve been spared BUT by the time you’ve reached adulthood, you HAVE come into contact with a DV victim, survivor or situation and the “no one I know would be stupid enough” attitude may be precisely why a victim or survivor hasn’t confided in you. Expressing a comment like that out loud and others (ie: “If she goes back to him she deserves to be beaten if she’s THAT stupid!” or “It takes two to tango” or “She made her bed” etc.) only further shames a victim and you never know whose overhearing what you’re saying. Instead of turning to you for console and guidance, a victim would most likely smile politely and shrink away to try to figure it out on her own – an opportunity for safety and freedom lost.
To illustrate how common DV is, below is a list of life odds:
- One-in-two chance of divorce
- One-in-three chance of a girl under the age of 18 being sexually abused or as a grown woman, being sexually assaulted
- One-in-four chance of a woman becoming a victim of DV sometime during her lifetime
- One -in-five chance for a teen to think about suicide sometime during his/her adolescence
- One-in-six chance of a boy under the age of 18 being sexually abused
- One-in-seven chance of dying from some form of cancer
- One-in-eight chance of a woman developing breast cancer
- One-in-nine chance of a man between the ages of 14 – 49 having genital herpes
- One-in-ten chance of experiencing some form of depression as an adult
DV is more prevalent then you might think and it’s going to take all of us to make it go away, so grab your walking shoes and come out to join us next Saturday in Waianae for the “kNOw more” march! For more information, contact Ka Wahi Kaiaulu-Wai‘anae Neighborhood Place at 696-4598 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org