Each October, pink and purple take on new meaning as our eyes are turned to the struggles some of our residents find themselves embroiled in daily. These symbols of breast cancer and domestic violence are ubiquitous this season, but the problems they represent still remain.
Locally, our community businesses and leaders have done much to call our collective attention to these issues.
Tuesday, CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Medical Center in Marshall will host a breast cancer awareness celebration, designed to educate community members and expressing the importance of annual mammogram screenings and breast exams.
On Sept. 28, Mayor Larry Hurta presented a proclamation before the commission declaring "National Domestic Violence Awareness Month." In it, the city recognized the widespread issue of domestic violence was not confined to any specific group of people, but instead affected individuals fromall walks of life. Hurta also applauded the efforts of Harrison County's chapter of the Women's Center of East Texas and its continued focus on ending violence by providing a safe haven, crisis intervention and comprehensive support services to victims of domestic violence.
Efforts to keep this particular issue in the public consciousness will continue throughout the end of the month, as the Harrison County District Attorney's Office will hold a mock trial at 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 30 in the 71st District courtroom, 200 W. Houston. Additionally, the Marshall Police Department will be teaming up with the Women's Center of East Texas on Friday from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. in the Walmart parking lot in Marshall, tying purple ribbons onto vehicles in an effort to bring awareness to the growing problem of domestic violence.
Just how much the problem of domestic violence has grown is undeniable. According to statistics provided by Texas Resource on Family Violence, 1 in 3 Texans will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes, an estimated 146 women were killed by a male intimate partner in 2016 and family violence programs served more than 70,000 Texans in 2016 alone.
The statistics on the likelihood of being diagnosed with breast cancer are just as sobering. According to information provided by the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, women in the U.S. have a "1 in 8" or around 12 percent risk of getting breast cancer in their lifetime.
This means for every eight women in the U.S., one will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime.
With these odds so seemingly stacked against us, there is always more for us to do. So instead of just wearing a pink or purple ribbon on your lapel or car this year, consider going a step further and donate to either one of these causes.