Advocacy is central to our Student Senate and we’d like to take some time to acknowledge some of the observances during the month of October. Here are just some of the ways in which we can begin to create awareness and advocacy during this month as well as learn about resources that are available.
National Breast Cancer Awareness
Breast Cancer is a disease that is resulted from uncontrolling growth and division of abnormal cells within the breasts. Every year, it is approximated that 250,000 women suffer from the disease, with 42,000 of these patients die. It also important that we recognize that men can also suffer from this disease. In fact, 1 in 100 cases of breast cancer is a male. While this may not seem like much, it is important to understand that men struggle too. Conducting a monthly self-exam can help you find the symptoms sooner!
It is important that we understand the symptoms, risk factors, and how to lower your risk. Symptoms of the disease include change in the shape or size of the breast, pain in any area of the breast, nipple discharge other than breast milk, and a new lump in the breast or underarm. It is recommended that you conduct a self-exam on your breasts to look for any of these signs. If you have any signs or pains that are starting to create worry, you should see a doctor as soon as you can.
Some of the factors that may put you at a higher risk for having breast cancer include being a woman, being older, it is noticed that most breast cancer cases are found in women 50 and older but it can affect anyone, as well as having any changes in either the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene. If you are not sure if you are at higher risk, have a conversation with your doctor.
Finally, there are a couple ways for you to lower your risk of receiving breast cancer. Some of these methods include keeping a healthy weight and exercising regularly, limiting the amount of alcohol you drink, knowing the side effects of any hormonal pills (i.e. Birth Control) you are taking, as well as breastfeeding your children.
Learn about the stories of those who have conquered Breast Cancer
Domestic Violence Awareness
Domestic Violence (DV) is maltreatment that takes place in the context of any romantic relationship and is abuse. It can affect anyone in any sort of relationship, regardless of gender, race, religion, socioeconomic status. More than 2 million women and 800,000 men suffer from a Domestic Violence situation. It is important to recognize that Domestic Violence can result in homelessness, injury, death and many others. There are many other names for Domestic Violence such as dating violence, spousal abuse, intimate partner abuse and domestic abuse.
We must recognize that Domestic Violence is not just physical abuse it is also emotional, verbal, spiritual, psychological, sexual, economic and many other factors. The physical abuse factors of Domestic Violence include assault of any kind, pinching, hitting and slapping. More extreme examples include choking, shooting, stabbing and sometimes even murder. Verbal, mental, emotional, or psychological abuse includes the use of verbiage to criticize, demean, or decrease the confidence levels of their partner.
Sexual abuse is the use of sex to control the victim, whether it be through unsafe or other sexual practices that the victim does not consent to. Risk factors for these abusers include alcoholism, drug abuse, unemployment, poverty and/or lack of education.
A lot of times when we see that people are in an abusive relationship, we immediately hop on the bias of “Well, why didn’t you leave them?” As outsiders, it is important to realize that the victim may not even realize that they are in an abusive relationship and that it can be extremely dangerous to leave. In fact, statistics show that women are 70 times more likely to be killed by their partner in the coming weeks after leaving them than any other time when they were actually together.
Expressing empathy towards someone you think may be in a domestically abusive relationship by listening to them, may be the catalyst they need. If you or someone you know is believed to be in an abusive relationship, you can call the DV Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go the National Domestic Violence Hotline website.
Fragile - Domestic Abuse Film (2020) shows a good example of what Domestic Violence may look like in a multitude of forms. Please be warned that there is abuse, profanity and manipulation.
Bullying is something that we have all seen happen at least once in our lifetime. Some of us have been the victims and we know how much that can affect us. Bullying is not something that should be taken lightly. There are four main different types of bullying: physical, verbal, social and cyber. We must recognize that bullying can lead to depression and other mental illnesses. It may also lead to suicidal thoughts or actions.
To see examples of bullying and what you can do to prevent it, watch the following videos:
National Center Against Bullying
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, otherwise known as ADHD, is a behavioral disorder that has effects such as poor concentration, hyperactivity and impulsivity. Hyperactivity is the act of being extremely active and it can lead to disruptive behaviors. People who are hyperactive also tend to be easily distracted. People who are impulsive sometimes act before the thought process is complete.
ADHD can affect anyone, regardless of age, but is more commonly seen in young children.
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