Turn those pink ribbons PURPLE

So, tomorrow begins the great month of October. It’s my favorite month–both of my children are born in October and then there is Halloween. And finally it’s Domestic Violence Awareness month. I know, you’d probably hardly realize it since it typically gets washed in pink breast cancer awareness by the mass marketing machine known as Susan G. Komen foundation. Now, I’m supportive of raising awareness about breast cancer, but I want to raise awareness about domestic violence too. While we try to find a cure for breast cancer, we can actually PREVENT domestic violence.

Even after all these years, domestic violence is still shrouded in silence and in fear. No one wants to talk about it. No one wants to confront that it happens.

Can you imagine what the world would look like if we turned all those pink ribbons purple? If all those M&Ms were purple and white, the NFL wore purple ribbons, or if Ford and Yoplait donated massive amounts of money to raise awareness and prevent domestic violence? I just think if we brought this out to the forefront of consciousness maybe we’d start thinking different about domestic violence. Maybe we’d start talking about it.  If every where we went, we saw purple ribbons rather than pink ribbons would it change the actions or the views of society?

My challenge to you is to turn those pink ribbons PURPLE in support of our daughters, sisters, mothers, lovers, and friends in raising awareness about Domestic Violence.

Here’s what you can do to turn those pink ribbons PURPLE:

Donate to your local domestic violence shelter or National Coalition Against Domestic Violence or National Network to End Domestic Violence or National Domestic Violence Hotline

Paint in Purple with Pixel Project

Get the facts

Attend a Domestic Violence Awareness Month Event

Urge your representatives to co-sponsor the International Violence Against Women Act


As I was sipping my coffee this morning, reading my way through my Google reader, I was happy to see so many stories on International Women’s Day. Granted, my Google reader is stacked with feminist bloggers and organizations working to end gender based violence so it was bound to be that way. Inevitably, many of the stories surround the issue of gender based violence. I started noticing the different methods of addressing gender based violence–service provision or macro-level change. These are not mutually exclusive nor all inclusive. Just two areas on a continuum.

Many of the service provision stories come out of the United States whereas macro-level stories tend to come from abroad. This seems to be a common theme around issues of social change. I’m taking a social welfare history class right now. We are currently discussing the professionalization of social work. It’s something my cohort has been discussing for the last year and half.  What did social work lose by choosing professionalization?

In the U.S., professionalization has moved social work through social reform to social work through social service. I think the definition of social work as social service provision has narrowed the field–in thought, in action, and in development of social workers. We have plenty of micro-practitioners interested in providing individual service and a dearth of macro thinkers to develop innovative ideas for social change. I’m not saying we don’t need both because I truly believe micro-practitioners are important to social work practice. However, I’d love to see a lot more focus on macro level changes. More social workers interested in what is now considered radical practice.