There are only two days left in Domestic Violence Awareness Month. October has come and gone, like it does every year. Maybe the thirty-one days in the month helped people stop and think about what really goes on behind closed doors, or maybe it brought courage and freedom to a silent victim. Maybe it opened up a friend’s eyes, so questions started to be asked. Maybe it helped an abuser realize just what they had been doing.
My hope is that the last twenty-nine days brought at least a spark of change with them. I hope that at least one person now knows that they are not alone. I hope that a child living in the middle of the abuse knows they do not have to live like this forever. I hope that the stigma attached to domestic violence is a little less.
I hope schools allowed conversations about domestic violence, so teenagers know what a healthy relationship looks like, and what it doesn’t. I hope awareness and education continue, not just in October, but always.
I hope all of the lives lost to domestic violence were remembered. I hope all of the parents that lost children to domestic violence were able to mourn the life that was stolen. I hope all of the friends who keep living every day without their love and light are able to keep their memory alive. I hope all of the children who lost a mom, a dad, or both to domestic violence were hugged a little tighter, and know it was not their fault. It was never their fault.
I hope that each and every life lost to domestic violence, by the hands of another, or by suicide, are not lost in vain. I hope each one carries a lesson to the world that there is a problem, and we need to offer love, support, and understanding. Every small step we each take is multiplied, and ripples out as we go.
Never stop speaking up. Never give up. Keep strong. And, always, remember: You Are Not Alone.