Sunny Slaughter is a federally certified Instructor and Consultant for the Department of Homeland Security/Federal Law Enforcement Training Center where she reviews and approves training material and certifies law enforcement officers and others as Adjunct Instructors. She is also a subject matter expert for ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and makes regular appearances on CNN’s HLN/After Dark.
If you champion the cause of ending violence against women in any form or fashion then you might know a few stats. Maybe you have even volunteered at an event, shelter or made a donation. Some people recognize the purple ribbon, and even a few happen to know that October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Notice I said a few.
Recently on several of my social media outlets, I had to remind some and inform a lot more that October is not only Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but National Domestic Violence Awareness Month as well. As the daughter, family member and friend of many who either directly or indirectly have been affected by breast cancer, I proudly support the cause and can flaunt the pink as well. But in the same breath and stride—as a once victim, now survivor and a staunch advocate who has shared my own story, wiped tears, held hands, prepared victims and survivors for trial, sat in the courtroom with the families of murdered victims and ultimately became a federally certified law enforcement instructor on DV—I strut the purple and the passion 365.
For me and so many others this is not just about a race for the cure for both issues. This is about the conversation of breast cancer and domestic violence awareness in the month of October becoming a full conversation that impacts, encourages and educates while eradicating the SILENCE that leaves women vulnerable to both domestic violence and diseases like breast cancer. Victims of domestic violence most often don’t get the medical treatment they need and deserve, leaving them vulnerable to diseases like breast cancer. These are not two separate conversations but one, and it all begins with SILENCE! When you don’t check your body this vicious disease can and will spread, giving you little hope if not caught in time. When you don’t evaluate negative relationships for what they are and put into place safety measures, then the violence escalates, giving you little hope if you don’t seek help. They both can make or break a victim.
Either way SILENCE can be deadly! Unite the conversation and create a new movement! Let’s do what we can to save lives not just in October but every day of the year, because disease and crime don’t take a day off, and neither should we!