Happy October 1st! Today marks the start of National Domestic Violence and Breast Cancer Awareness Month!!! Both are equally important and impact women, men, and families as a whole. These causes are both near and dear to my heart. One because I am a survivor of domestic violence, and I have had loved ones who were also affected by this epidemic. Breast Cancer has also impacted the lives of my family and friends as well, and last year it hit even closer when my cousin was diagnosed. Thank GOD she survived breast cancer!!! I’m humbled and grateful because I know everyone’s story doesn’t have a happy ending when it comes to Domestic Violence and Breast Cancer. My heart and prayers go out to all families who have lost a loved one due to these epidemics. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence every 9 seconds a woman in the US is assaulted or beaten and every 1 and 7 men have been victims of physical violence by their intimate partner in their lifetime. Domestic Violence is also no stranger to the LGBT community either, a survey from the National Violence Against Women shows that 21.5% of men and 35.4% of women living with a same sex partner has experienced physical violence in their lifetime. Domestic Violence is also prevalent in teen dating. We must become aware and break the silence!!! Domestic Violence is certainly not just physical, it can be emotional, mental, verbal, financial, and even sexual. Love is not suppose to hurt, you shouldn’t have to live in fear, and you deserve to be treated with love and respect. Abuse affects the whole family whether your children are being hit or not, just living in it is toxic!!! There are tons of resources, support groups,etc. So if you are in a abusive relationship please reach out and get help before its too late. You can get out! There is life after abuse! You can be a survivor! 1 in 8 women in the US will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime says the National American Cancer Society. The mortality rate is even higher! Men can also get Breast Cancer although the cases are lower compared to women. Be informed, know your risk factors, do your monthly self breast exams, and if you are of age get your mammograms! Early detection is key and it will save your life! You will also have more options when it comes to the various treatments available. There are so many great organizations out there to answer your questions and to assist you in any way needed. If you have been diagnosed with Breast Cancer, please don’t go it alone!!! There are so many resources out there and great organizations that are willing to help. You might not have been affected by Domestic Violence or Breast Cancer personally but somebody could use your help! I’m asking that we all take a stand to end Domestic Violence and find a cure for Breast Cancer! Get involved in your local area to help out with both of these causes whether it’s going to a vigil, walking for the causes, or volunteering. And please donate to your local area organizations/national organizations such as The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, The American Cancer Society, and Susan G. Komen for the cure to name a few. Domestic Violence and Breast Cancer can both be costly. Many victims stay for financial reasons, some have lost their jobs due to the violence or they don’t have a job, many have no where to go, some have no healthcare, even after escaping it takes money to rebuild their lives, and unfortunately the abuser will still use money as a way to abuse. From not paying child support or helping to take care of medical expenses associated with their children,etc. Cancer patients sometimes loose their jobs due to their illness and can no longer afford living expenses. Their healthcare plans don’t always cover 100% and they are stuck paying out of pocket. And even Breast Cancer survivors need financial help as they regain their strength, health, and rebuild their lives. Please rock your purple and pink this month in support!!! Leave your stories of hope, love, encouragement, and survivorship here in the comments. Lastly please go and like my Facebook page “Battered not Broken” @https://www.facebook.com/batterednotbroken dedicated to Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I will be posting facts, call to action events, vigils, etc the whole month long. Thanks!!!