Letter: Make a commitment to end domestic violence
To the editor:
The month of October brings many traditions to Rhode Island: hay rides, pumpkin carving and apple picking, among others. It also marks National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, honoring the one in eight women who will develop the illness in their lifetime.
Many do not realize that October is also the national awareness month for a less frequently discussed, but equally important, public health issue: domestic violence.
One in four Rhode Islanders will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. In fact, one in 10 Rhode Island high schoolers report that they have already experienced physical dating violence. Because RI communities are so close-knit, we have all witnessed the suffering caused by domestic violence, or know someone who has.
In 2016, seven lives have been lost to domestic violence murders in Rhode Island. Even when domestic violence does not escalate to homicide, abusive relationships are harming our neighbors, family members, friends and coworkers.
This October, National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we must all take a stand, because we each have a role to play. No one can do everything, but everyone can do something. As a community, we can help to create a Rhode Island where domestic violence is no longer tolerated, to raise awareness of the issue and explore ways in which we can all work together to help prevent it.
On Sunday, Oct. 23, the Women's Resource Center will be participating in the Pell Bridge Run. By joining Team WRC or sponsoring a runner or walker, you'll be helping to raise funds for domestic violence prevention and services. For more information, look up Team WRC at www.pellbridgerun.com.
If each one of us makes a commitment this October to say or do something to help end domestic violence, just think about the collective impact we can have. Imagine the change we can be in the world! Visit the Women's Resource Center online at www.wrcnbc.org and follow us on our Facebook page to learn more about ways we can work together to end domestic violence. Help us build a safer, more peaceful Rhode Island!
Lori N. DiPersio
The Women's Resource Center