When I was 20 years old, my boyfriend shoved me into a doorknob. It was something I had to sit with for a few days before I could understand what happened. Believe it or not, the progression was subtle. Discussions that turned to heated arguments, moments where he tried to control where I was going or even what I wore. It was behavior I didn’t see coming, so I made excuses for it. Until that day, I had been keeping the truth about my relationship to myself and according to national data I wasn’t alone.
Only 1% of domestic violence cases get reported to the police, leaving masses of women and men trapped in situations they can’t get out of. There’s a rationality that happens. Some might feel like I did, that there was a perfectly normal explanation for why their partner was hurting them.
Rachel James, founder of cruelty-free nail polish brand Pear Nova, is an advocate for being loud. In 2009, her sister Nova and her 10-month old daughter Ava were murdered by her ex-boyfriend after she tried to end the relationship. Since then, Rachel has been supporting Break The Silence against Domestic Violence efforts to break the chain and help women leave dangerous home environments.
This year, Pear Nova and BTSADV are joining forces this month for Domestic Violence Awareness Month. All month long, Pear Nova has been donating 10% of their proceeds to BTSADV which goes towards funding their volunteer-led resources to help women rebuild after trauma.
Browse Pear Nova’s line of purple shades to show your support before October is over — and learn more about Break The Silence against Domestic Violence by visiting their Facebook page. These are the types of alliances women forge that change the world.
The more we talk about abuse and assault, the fewer places abusers have to hide. Normalizing the conversation can help someone who has been holding onto their pain for too long, let it go. This issue is especially detrimental for Black women and women of color. Despite making up 8% of the US population, Black women still account for 22% of homicides that take place because of domestic violence.
It is the leading cause of death for Black women aged 15-35 and shakes thousands of families to the core, disturbing households and the lives of children. But for every woman accounted for in national reports, there are several who remain silent. We pass people on the street every day who are in the process of enduring abuse when they go home. We’ve seen this year what happens when abusers are exposed and the curtain is lifted. Taking down, not just individuals, but entire institutions that have been put in place to undermine the rights of women. Domestic violence is bigger than us, but not stronger.
With social media at our disposal and facts and statistics at our fingertips, there’s a lot we can do to change the fate of women. Share your own story, or pat someone’s back while they share theirs. Volunteer at your local women’s shelter or donate your professional or creative skills to an organization that could use the help. Domestic violence affects every community, this fight belongs to us all.