During October, the Tennessee Department of Health recognizes both Breast Cancer and Domestic Violence Awareness with the Wear a Little Purple with Your Pink Campaign. This campaign takes the easily recognized pink ribbon for breast cancer and combines it with the purple ribbon for domestic violence. While nearly one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, one in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.
To recognize this campaign, Friday, October 22, will be Wear a Little Purple with Your Pink Day. Tennesseans can support this campaign and bring awareness to breast cancer and domestic violence by wearing pink and purple and share pictures on social media using the campaign hashtags #WALPWYP, #StrongerTogether, and #IAmaPurpleAdvocate.
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While domestic violence impacts people of all races, cultures, genders, socioeconomic class, and religions, there are disparities in how it affects communities of color and other marginalized groups. Economic instability, unsafe housing, neighborhood violence, and lack of safe childcare and social support can further worsen uncertain conditions. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has further isolated people; thus, affecting victims’ ability to receive help and/or report their situation.
Similarly, the pandemic has delayed an estimated 3.9 million breast cancer screenings nationally. With fewer screenings, there are fewer diagnoses of breast cancer, which may result in some cancers being diagnosed at later stages with poor prognoses. It is important to note that breast cancer disproportionately affects minority populations, as black women are more likely than their white counterparts to be diagnosed at later stages.
Domestic violence is preventable. In Tennessee, the Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence provides healing through counseling, prevention education and advocacy for children, adults and families affected by sexual violence. In addition, the Tennessee Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence offers a variety of prevention training and educational programs throughout the year. For more information, visit https://tncoalition.org/ or call the 24-hour crisis hotline and support line at 1-800-356-6767.
The TDH Rape Prevention and Education (RPE) Program offers training and support for community agencies, sports teams, schools, and universities to implement evidence-based prevention programs. These include Coaching Boys Into Men, Athletes As Leaders, Safe Dates, Shifting Boundaries, and Safe Bar. Learn more at https://www.tn.gov/health/heal
Rape Prevention and Education Program
Sexual violence (SV) perpetration and victimization is a significant public health problem that requires a public health approach to decrease risk factors and increase protective factors related to SV. This includes a range of activities to address the way individual, relationship, community, and societal factors impact SV. This approach is more likely to prevent SV across a lifetime than any single intervention and is also more likely to benefit the largest number of people and reduce SV.
The Rape Prevention and Education (RPE) program is a federally funded program that focuses on preventing sexual violence (SV) perpetration and victimization. The RPE program utilizes a public health approach to decrease risk factors and increase protective factors related to SV. Through the implementation and evaluation of selected prevention strategies, Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) is expanding strategies and evaluation at the community-level as well as a comprehensive approach across the SEM. Education, training and evaluation are a cornerstone of TDH’s efforts to prevent SV before it occurs.
Sexual assault data in Tennessee reflect the need for continued efforts for the primary prevention of SV statewide. Prevention is a key factor in reducing rates of SV victimization and perpetration and impacting the risk and protective factors related to SV.
The Tennessee Breast and Cervical Screening Program (TBSCP) provides breast and cervical screening services to uninsured and underinsured women and diagnostic testing for qualifying men and women. Learn more about the program at https://www.tn.gov/health/heal
If you need help, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or text “START” to 88788. For more information, visit https://www.thehotline.org/.
If you would like additional information about the Tennessee Breast and Cervical Screening program, please email TBCSP.Health@tn.gov or call 1-877-969-6636.