Is it just me or are there a multitude of campaigns out there? You’ve got the CADV – Campaign Against Domestic Violence and there is UNITE to End Violence Against Women. There is also Take Back The Night which raises awareness to end sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and sexual abuse and of course there are your run of the mill Anti-Bullying and Just Say No to drugs movements. Too many to name.
On top of that, we have color coded ribbons. When I was growing up the very first ribbon, at least I think it was the first, was the red ribbon for AIDS awareness. Then Breast Cancer became an epidemic and it’s – as we all know – associated with the pink ribbon. Now, there are not enough colors to go around. Take purple. The purple ribbon is assigned to – ARE YOU READY FOR THIS??? No…you’re not. The purple ribbon stands for awareness on 45 different causes. FOURTY FIVE!!!! Among them are child abuse, domestic violence, anti gay bullying, animal abuse and suicide prevention. That’s only 5 on the list. I chose these five because the rest on the list are mostly health related issues but these FIVE are things that can be prevented. How?? TALK TO YOUR CHILDREN!!!!
Since I’ve been blogging and going from website to website, reading information on shelters and hotlines and following tweets and Facebook pages the number of causes are insurmountable. The more I come across the more it has hit me (no pun intended) that these issues – all of them – are being discussed. Finally. Whatever the topic. But for these things to be so prevelant that one ribbon has 45 topics attached to it – it makes me wonder if enough is being done. It’s made me think back to my own childhood. Would I be where I am now if there was awareness? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not shifting blame. I just wondering if we all had the same – non-existent – talk.
My parents…my mother…my aunts…heck, no relative had any “talk” with me. Whether it be regarding sex, drugs, abuse, bullying. Nothing. There was no conversation about it. My parents were young when they had me. My mother was 17 and my father was 20. And it was the 1970’s. So they were still having sex, doing drugs (smoking pot), my father hit my mother (not excessively but in today’s world abuse is still abuse) and bullying…wasn’t that just the norm? Some kids got bullied and some kids were the bully. The biggest talk there was regarding that was your parents telling you to stick up for yourself. Basically, stop violence with violence.
In thinking back, I was never told about sex or how easy it was to get pregnant. I wasn’t even told about my period. The furthest my mother got with that was taking out a book from the library and leaving it on my bed. I can still remember the day I came home from school and saw it there. What the heck was I supposed to do with that? Everything (I thought) I needed to know was learned from the kids at school. We all had our own rendition of what certain words meant and how many sexual positions there were. Plus we were still at the age where we were amazed that the word bitch was in the dictionary – and that we (thought) we could go around saying it and when we got in trouble for doing so we just shrugged and acted confused….what? It’s a female dog. Look…it’s in the dictionary!
When I started liking boys…and chasing boys…catching and dating boys…there was never a talk on how I was supposed to be treated. Nothing about how he should respect me and never lay a hand on me. There was never a topic on saving myself for marriage or reputations that a girl could get. Oh and that…don’t let anyone ever touch you in your “private” areas talk…yeah, that never happened either.
I’m not even sure what has me bothered. I’m not even sure I am bothered. There are an awful lot of CAPS going on in this post. So I guess something has me twisted. Maybe I’m just hoping that this new wave of Public Service Announcements isn’t a fall back to parents not talking to their kids about the hard topics. Even if you haven’t been a victim of anything other than missing the bus and your life has been sunshine and roses, you should still talk to them about real issues even if you don’t know a single person that has been through anything as traumatic as domestic abuse. It’s not to put fear in their heart but awareness in their minds.
Maybe I am overreacting. It’s possible that these crusades are being lead by the children that were spoken to. That did learn about life not being perfect. In that case…thank you. To whoever took the time to sit their kids down and talk to them, no matter how uncomfortable a topic. It is quite true that knowledge is indeed power and awareness brings freedom.
My rant is over.
To read from the beginning… my story starts here.