THE MONTH OF OCTOBER BRINGS AWARENESS
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH
For nearly 30 years, the month of October has served to bring attention to domestic violence both in Texas and throughout the nation. During the 81st Legislative Session, the Texas Legislature passed measures designed to strengthen penalties for offenders and expand the services available to victims. While these new laws have been heralded by victims advocacy groups; government agencies, communities and volunteers alike must continue to be vigilant in raising awareness so that victims of this abuse know where to go for help.
The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) just released a report with 2009 statewide statistics that are rather eye-opening. In 2009, a total of 111 women were killed in Texas as a result of domestic violence. That total represents an 18 percent decrease since 2008 when 136 women were killed. Of the 111 women killed, the youngest was 13 years old; the oldest 83 years old. As a result of these crimes, 6 children were also murdered and 108 children lost one or both parents.”
Numbers released in the 2009 Crime in Texas Report expand upon the widespread and pervasive nature of domestic violence in our communities. This report states that in 2009, Texas law enforcement responded to 196,713 incidences of family violence involving 212,106 victims. TCFV points out that these numbers only represent those cases that were reported.
The Domestic Violence Awareness Project recently released a report outlining statistics for the first half of 2010. In the report the National Domestic Violence Hotline received 128,664 calls in the first six months of 2010, with the State of Texas accounting for 9% of those calls received by the hotline.
If you or someone you know is frightened about something in your relationship, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224. The hotline provides assistance to callers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
PINK RIBBONS ON DISPLAY
The month of October brings out the pink. For 26 years the month of October has been recognized by the media as well as survivors, family and friends of survivors and/or victims of the disease as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM). NBCAM seeks to promote breast cancer awareness and to provide for the sharing and disbursement of information relating to the disease.
In a report released by the American Cancer Society titled Cancer Facts & Figures 2009; approximately 98,000 cases of cancer were reported in the State of Texas, with breast cancer accounting for over 13,000 of those cases. It is important to note that the disease of breast cancer, though rare, can also be found in men. An estimated 1,970 new cases of male breast cancer will be diagnosed in the United States in 2010. Overall incidence of breast cancer is 1.3 per 100,000 men, compared to 123 per 100,000 women. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed among women in Texas.
One of the most important things for women to do in the fight against breast cancer is to stay vigilant. Nancy G. Brinker founder and CEO of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation in a recent statement expressed the importance of this. “We know that early detection is critically important for women with the earliest stages of breast cancer in this country,” she said. “Five-year survival rates of 98 percent are a clear improvement from when we started our work thirty years ago. Women must remain vigilant and proactive about their health.”
For those looking for more information or for the opportunity to get involved in the fight against breast cancer can go to Susan G. Komen for the Cure at ww5.komen.org or by going to the American Cancer Society at www.cancer.org.
If you have any questions, comments or ideas regarding any of the information in this article, please don’t hesitate to contact either my Capitol or District office. My offices are available at any time to assist with questions, concerns or comments (Capitol Office, 512-463-0672; District Office, 361-949-4603).