Several years ago, if someone was diagnosed with cancer, especially breast cancer, they seemed to be shunned from society as if they had a communicable disease. It took many years of keeping this in the forefront for us to finally talk openly and frankly about it.
Cancer and breast cancer survivors are just that, “survivors,” and they wear their victory proudly, and rightly so, on shirts, bumper stickers and hats.
Bringing the “bullying epidemic” to the forefront has also resulted in new laws aimed at schools and bullying in the community. Many children and adults committed suicide or were killed until this gained the attention it deserved.
Laws don’t stop these acts, but educating people and appealing to their sense of right and wrong can certainly help.
Domestic violence, our main reason for this letter, seems to slip in and out of the forefront. There are laws against it, but it’s another issue that is embarrassing and often covered up. Domestic violence needs to be addressed as energetically as the wars on cancer or bullying.
Until someone is killed, many of us fool ourselves into believing it is a problem that happens only in other people’s lives.
This is a curable condition, and like bullying, if left unaddressed, could eventually reach epidemic proportions.
We consider ourselves “real men/women” because we don’t abuse or mistreat each other. However, we are also “just a man and woman” and have to keep ourselves in check.
Years ago we started using empathy in everything we said or did. If we had an argument, we would mentally put ourselves in each other’s shoes, and it would lessen the tension substantially. We use empathy in all we do, each day.
No human being deserves to be a victim of rape, abuse (mentally or physically) or bullying.
Please help keep this to the forefront in any way you can (Facebook, Twitter or letters to the editor). The more an abuser (male or female) is confronted with examples or facts about domestic violence, the better the chance is that they will seek help or try to change their own behavior.
Working together, we can help victims become survivors who can wear their victory proudly. Remember, its behavior that was learned, it can be unlearned, too.
Jerry and Linda Vandeveer