The Salvation Army in South Africa used the dress everyone talked about for a week or so and turned it into a visual for domestic abuse.
Statistics tell us that 3-4 million women each year are physically abused. 40%-60% of police calls on night shift are related to domestic violence. 25%-45% of all women who are battered, are also battered when pregnant.
That’s just the United States. And, that’s just physical abuse.
Violence doesn’t understand invisible boundaries that separate our nations.
Sometimes we don’t see the signs, because we don’t want to. Maybe sometimes, we just don’t know what to look for. But we also don’t know how to talk about domestic violence. Animal abuse seems easier for most people to address and deal with – maybe that’s what there’s more than triple the animal shelters as there are shelters for battered women.
Just like the dress – even if you only think you saw signs of black and blue – ask. Take someone out for some coffee and talk. Be supportive and nonjudgmental.
If you need help – and don’t know who to ask, contact one of these agencies:
In the United States: http://www.thehotline.org
In the United Kingdom: http://www.refuge.org.uk
In Canada: http://endvaw.ca
Cape Town, South Africa: http://www.irfsa.com