Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

October 13, 2013

Survivor's plea: Let's all say 'no more' to domestic violence

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, yet it is often eclipsed by other campaigns with a stronger national voice. Every day, all year, countless victims of completely preventable crimes are left voiceless in their personal struggles.

As a survivor myself, I say enough is enough! 

There are resources out there to keep people informed about what is going on in their communities and, perhaps, in their own families. Organizations such as the Joyful Heart Foundation, and their new organization NoMore.org, are gaining momentum in their online campaigns to raise awareness and provide resources for victims. 

On their website, the blue circle, which is meant to be the equivalent of the pink ribbon for breast cancer awareness, is explained as “a new unifying symbol designed to galvanize greater awareness and action to end domestic violence and sexual assault. Supported by major organizations working to address these urgent issues, NO MORE is gaining support with Americans nationwide, sparking new conversations about these problems and moving this cause higher on the public agenda.” 

Too often, domestic violence and sexual assault cases are under-reported and under-prosecuted, with the excuses being that the cases are “too murky” or “too hard” to prosecute. Well, this new campaign is here to say “No more excuses.” 

There are many ways that people can get involved and have a voice — and whether they know it or not, they are part of a statistic.

If you are wondering “why should I care?” NoMore suggests that the next time you are in a room with six people, consider this:

• One of every four women experiences violence from her partners in their lifetimes.

• One of every three teens experiences sexual or physical abuse or threats from a boyfriend or girlfriend in one year.

• One of every six women is a survivor of sexual assault.

• One of every five men has experienced some form of sexual victimization in his life.

• One of every four women, and one of every six men, was sexually abused before age 18.

These are human beings and it is time to get rid of the stigma and end the shame. There are repercussions of the silence that prevails in the face of abuse. Victims are denied justice and perpetrators are free to victimize again.

Your family, friends, co-workers ... they deserve a voice. Together we can help give it to them. Spread the word, start the conversation.

Wondering how you can help? From nomore.org:

Say it: Learn about the issues and talk openly about them. Break the silence. Speak out. Seek help when you see a problem or harassment of any kind in your family, your community, your workplace or school. Upload your photo to the No More gallery and write about why you’re saying “no more.”

Share it: Help raise awareness about domestic violence and sexual assault by sharing No More with everyone you know. Share the PSAs. Download the “tools to say no more.” Facebook it. Tweet it. Instagram it. Pin it.

Show it: Buying and wearing ‘No More’ gear supports partner groups that are working to end domestic violence and sexual assault. Volunteering in your community shows your support for the cause.

Cortney Krueger is a Lockport resident.