Saturday, March 12, 2011

Why Fat Tuesday pancakes raises awareness of abuse

What do Fat Tuesday pancakes have in common with sexual and domestic violence? Plenty. It's never more true than when it's a fundraiser.

The Mardi Gras colors of purple, green and gold have special significance when applied to abuse victims. Purple is the color that is used for domestic violence awareness ribbons. Green is often substituted for teal which is the ribbon color for sexual assault. Gold represents healing.

Mardi Gras is the perfect blending of colors for all that our organization represents. For us, it's a way to reaching out and educating the public. Unfortunately, there is too much education that has to be done.

As executive director, I take most of the emails and calls for help. Two weeks ago an email arrived that gave me pause. A college aged woman had been sexually assaulted by her boyfriend. What she didn't realize is that sexual assault within a relationship is domestic violence. Sexual violence is often a component of a pattern of abusive behavior.

I made sure that she had the number for the National Domestic Violence Hotline and for her state coalition. After a few emails she said that she would call them.

The intertwined colors of purple, green and gold help us get our message across. No matter how badly the crimes are intermingled two facts remain. Number one is that no one deserves to be abused. The second is that healing is possible.

If you're in a bad relationship it's ok to go for the gold. No one deserves it more than you.

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