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October 2008: Domestic Violence and Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Message from Director Andrea G. Bottner

Each October we observe Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Domestic violence and breast cancer gravely impact the health and lives of many women worldwide. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has taken a stand to combat these issues around the globe.

Secretary Rice has initiated a call to action to all United States embassies, urging action against this pervasive problem. While some countries are taking important strides in addressing domestic violence through the implementation of legislation, still many face challenges when discussing cultural attitudes on women’s social status and issues of domestic violence as a private or public matter. Legislation on domestic violence publicly acknowledges this behavior will not be tolerated; however, it is equally important the law is properly enforced and a coordinated community response by advocates and leaders in the society is supported.

While domestic violence is still perceived by many to be a “private family matter,” breast cancer can be highly stigmatized as a “private personal matter” preventing many women from seeking services. First Lady Laura Bush has demonstrated her steadfast leadership in raising breast cancer awareness by initiating partnerships with the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and Susan G. Komen for the Cure in countries in the Middle East and the Americas. This international effort stresses the importance of early detection of breast cancer through raising awareness and training leaders in the community. These partnerships are invaluable and have resulted in increased efforts to combat this disease.

By discussing domestic violence and breast cancer during the month of October, we are supporting a dialogue that not only brings much-needed public attention to these issues, but encourages a greater conversation of equal treatment for all. Through global education and awareness on these issues, we are creating an environment that is conducive to women’s empowerment and a world which believes in healthy lives for everyone.

                      Purple Ribbon
Domestic Violence Resources
Office on Violence Against Women 
San Diego Family Justice Center Alliance
National Network to End Domestic Violence
National Domestic Violence Hotline
Family Violence Prevention Fund
G/IWI Outreach Efforts
               Pink Ribbon - Breast Cancer Awareness Symbol
Breast Cancer Resources
The White House
Susan G. Komen for the Cure
M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
U.S.-Middle East Partnership for
Breast Cancer Awareness and Research

U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
National Cancer Institute


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