Through My Lens: October

Another month has passed by in a flash and I can’t believe the year is almost over. October treated me well. Work was busy as October is National Domestic Violence Awareness month and there are a lot of good people out there shedding light on the dynamics of an abusive relationship. It was also my best friends 25th birthday, and my schedule changed drastically. Here is my month in a few photos. Enjoy!
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As I mentioned above, October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and the National Domestic Violence Hotline launched a bunch of social media campaigns to raise awareness on domestic violence. Here I am explaining how I see domestic violence as a part of the #SeeDV campaign. Unfortunately, I #SeeDV everywhere, and I wish we were all talking about it. To find out more about the campaign and to check out how some of my co-workers also see dv, click here. By the way, these photographs were taken by my amazing friend Kate Kerns, isn’t she great!
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If you’ve talked to me anytime during the last three weeks then you know that my shift change is all I am focusing on lately. Pictured above is my savior on the first day of my new shift, and really my new life. I have been working overnight the past 4 years and am so excited to see how working “regular” hours will change my livelihood. I will keep y’all updated on that.
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Here is my beautiful best friend on her 25th birthday! Of course I had to buy her a children’s edible arrangement for the day. I really hope she enjoyed her day and I look forward to sharing many more birthdays with her.20131030-202730.jpg

Last weekend I made a trip to New Orleans for my best friends birthday. Here I am in Jackson Square in the French Quarter with my younger sister. I am SO glad she was able to come along and I really hope we can make room in both our schedules and budgets to take many more trips together. I hear Costa Rica calling out to us early next year.20131030-202746.jpg

The Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden is hugging me. I have no words to explain how amazing yesterday was. Joe Biden, author of the Violence Against Women Act, and Mariska Hargitay, founder of the Joyful Heart Foundation, visited the National Domestic Violence Hotline yesterday and I was lucky enough to meet them both! It was amazing to witness the passion that both of these domestic violence advocates have for our survivors. So amazing. And to hear them speak about the work we do and how much they appreciate it made my job that much more rewarding. It was an excellent way to end National Domestic Violence Awareness Month! If you would like to read more about their visit and check out more awesome photos, check out it here. And yes, I told VP Joe Biden that I loved him on Parks and Recreation, I am glad he has a sense of humor.

How did you spend your month?

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A little personal :)

I have noticed that October is usually a really busy month for a lot of people. Whether you are on a scavenger hunt looking for the perfect costume, getting ready for the upcoming holidays, ┬ácelebrating your best friends birthday as I will be doing soon ­čÖé or taking your midterms…it can get pretty busy. I have also done a little research on the month of October and found out that October is National Dental Hygiene Month, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, National Bullying Prevention Month, and it includes National Fire Prevention Week. These are all really important causes that definitely deserve their own month to really raise awareness.

I have been feeling really busy lately because October is also National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.┬áI think I have shared this with y’all but I work at a domestic violence crisis center and we get to hear firsthand about all the amazing things people are doing to raise awareness! Verizon Wireless Foundation is a big supporter of the organization and is participating in a Hope Tour going to a ton of cities educating folks on the dynamics of an abusive relationship.

A little more on the subject: Domestic Violence and abusive relationships are a lot more than cuts and bruises; what we know that happens during an abusive relationship is a pattern of behaviors where one person is trying to gain power and control over the other. This may include many forms of manipulation, isolation from your support system and/or minimizing the abuse. We know a lot of things are going on and it can be really overwhelming to think about them all at once, we are definitely a source of information as well as a way to help organize those thoughts and come up with a few options, tailored to each individual.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month is something that is very close to my heart. Not only because of my job, mostly because it is an issue that affects people of all economic classes and education levels and it is not something we discuss. It has become so normalized in our society and I really want to make it clear that just because something is normal that doesn’t mean it is ok.

I hope a few of you are prompted to give our hotline a call or check out the website for more information. Since we still have more than half of the month left, I encourage you all to get involved with your local domestic violence agencies and find out what kind of help they are looking for this month! Organize a donation drive at your job or school for toiletries and supplies desperately needed at the local shelters! Clean out your closet and donate the clothes you don’t need to the local shelter for the women who leave everything behind during their escape to stay safe! Or let people know you are standing strong with the cause and wear purple (color to represent domestic violence awareness) as much as you can this month and let people know why! There are countless ways to get involved in this amazing movement, I hope some of you are inspired to do so.

This is my contribution this month, ┬áspreading the word beyond my job. I hope this information is not new to anyone, but if it is, do not worry, you can always contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline, an anonymous and confidential hotline working 24/7 to help any caller with questions, support and safety planning at┬á1-800-799-7233.┬áI would also like to invite you all to check out our website┬áhttp://www.thehotline.org/┬áfor more information ­čÖé

I hope you have all learned a little something and I hope you can all help us out by spreading the word in your communities. I will be back this Friday with a few fun diy’s. I promise it’ll back to business ­čÖé

Til then, I hope you are all having a great week!