Before everyone goes crazy and starts leaving mean comments, hear me out!
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Historically, Lather and Luster partnered with a local company to donate pink ribbon and pink owl soaps for sale with all proceeds to go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. It was a great success! We wanted to be a part of this movement because of personal experiences with breast cancer and the belief that awareness saves lives. It is true that all the “hype” has brought more awareness to the disease and has helped raise money for research and treatment. It is a great cause! There is still a ways to go, but we are on the right path. For more information about the Susan G. Komen foundation, click here!
This year, we are not participating in the pink ribbon projects.
Okay, so what ARE we doing this month?
So here’s the thing. Many of you may or may not be aware that I (Lynn – the owner of Lather and Luster) am a Registered Nurse. Part of being a nurse is that we are considered “mandated reporters”. Wha??? A “mandated reporter” is someone who is REQUIRED BY LAW to report reasonable suspicions of abuse. This includes domestic, child, and/or elder abuse. It is not a choice, in fact, if we do not report, we are charged as well. While at work, I noticed a bulletin board. It contained information that I never knew about other important things going on in October.
You still haven’t gotten to the point…
The point is, while we are all wearing pink, running in pink races, and tying pink ribbons everywhere, no one has noticed another important campaign – DVAM or Domestic Violence Awareness Month. October is also the month to bring awareness to those who have died, are suffering, and those who are helping the project. Their ribbon is purple. Their message is simple.
Eh…that’s kinda ugly and uncomfortable…
Yes, it sure is. It isn’t something most want to talk about. There is a lot of shame that is felt by those that are abused. No one wants to be hurt. Many times, they abused don’t even want to leave because they feel they love this person and believe the promises of “change”. Others have nowhere to go, whether it be because of not having family or because family doesn’t want to be a part of it anymore. It isn’t uncommon to have the abuser alienate the abused so it keeps them around for them.
When we think of spousal abuse, we picture bruised and battered women, but statistics state that nearly 1 in 7 men are abused in some way vs 1 in 4 women. So yes, statistically, more women are abused, but are men reporting it? There is a stigma around men being considered weak if they say someone (let alone their female partner) beat them up. Here are some alarming statistics from the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
I am embarrassed that as a healthcare worker and mandated reporter, I was not aware of this project. We are all so engrossed in pink, the debate of “should we or shouldn’t we support it”, that an equally important movement is happening in the background. One that gets hardly the same advertisement or attention. This is where we come in…
Lather and Luster would like to donate $1000 worth of soap to a local organization that helps those that are victims of domestic violence. One may think, “Soap?? Really??”. Yes, really. For those that feel they have nothing, a small gift of beautiful handcrafted soap is a luxury. Others may see it as a way to “wash away the past” and start anew. Still, others may just need the gift of good hygiene because they have been unfortunately homeless or on the street. Soaps can be placed in baskets with other donated items for raffle to help fund their efforts. Imagine a beautiful wrapped fragrant gift for the holidays that no one can take from you anymore. Never look down upon a gift from the heart given with open arms and gentle hands.
Soon, we will be announcing the organization that will benefit from our products. We are waiting on their acceptance. 🙂
Meanwhile, if you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse, PLEASE seek help! Here are some tips taken directly from the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence “Safety Alert” page:
“If you are in immediate danger, please:
- Call 911.
- Contact your local hotline.
- Contact a national hotline:
- Call the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or TTY 1-800-787-3224.
- Call, text or chat Love Is Respect—the U.S. National Teen Dating Violence Helpline: 1-866-331-9474 or TTY 1-866-331-8453, text “loveis” to 77054 or live chat at http://www.loveisrespect.org.
- Call the U.S. National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673 (HOPE), which automatically connects you to a local U.S. rape crisis program based on the area code of your phone number. Secure, online private chat is available at https://ohl.rainn.org/online/.
Remember: Corded phones are more private and less able to be intercepted than cordless phones or analog cell phones.
Be Aware: You may not be able to reach 911 using an Internet phone or Internet-based phone service, so you may need to be prepared to use another phone to call 911.
Contact your local domestic violence program, shelter, or rape crisis center to learn about free cell phone donation programs.
Tips for Using Technology
If you think your activities are being monitored, they probably are.
Abusive people are often controlling and want to know your every move. You don’t need to be a computer programmer or have special skills to monitor someone’s computer and Internet activities. Anyone can do it and there are many ways to monitor with programs like Spyware, keystroke loggers, and hacking tools.
It is not possible to delete or clear all the “footprints” of your computer or online activities.
If you are being monitored, it may be dangerous to change your computer behaviors such as suddenly deleting your entire Internet history if that is not your regular habit.
If you think you may be monitored on your home computer, be careful how you use your computer since an abuser might become suspicious.
You may want to keep using the monitored computer for innocuous activities, like looking up the weather. Use a safer computer to research an escape plan, to look for new jobs, apartments or bus tickets, or to ask for help.
Email and Instant/Text Messaging (IM) are not safe or confidential ways to talk to someone about the danger or abuse in your life.
If possible, please call a hotline instead. If you use email or IM, please use a safer computer and an account your abuser does not know about.
Computers can store a lot of private information.
This includes what you look at via the Internet, the emails and instant messages you send, Internet-based phone and IP-TTY calls you make, Web-based purchases and banking, and many other activities.
It might be safer to use a computer in a public library, at a community technology center (CTC), at a trusted friend’s house, or at an Internet Cafe. Modern technology and social networks change frequently. Educate yourself by reading about the NRCDV’s Tech Safety Resources. This special collection of selected articles, fact sheets, papers, reports and other materials are designed to assist advocates and survivors interested in understanding the safe use of technology.”
We are not bashing the pink ribbon movement, on the contrary, we agree that we need to keep raising awareness and find a cure for breast cancer.
We are just asking, consider a purple ribbon for Domestic Violence Awareness as well during October, and the rest of the year. Awareness literally saves lives.
With love and light, be good to each other and stay blessed,