October is both Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Domestic Violence Awareness Month. YWCAs across the country advocate for the health and safety of women and girls. Due to the initial quarantine and prolonged social distancing, those in abusive home situations are unable to leave, and spikes in domestic violence have been reported within the first few weeks of the pandemic. Moreover, because more people are staying home, and non-emergency procedures and appointments have been pushed back, routine cancer screenings will be delayed, and diagnoses will be made later–which ultimately impacts the treatment and survivability of the disease. In addition, lower income women and women of color are at a greater risk of inequitable healthcare (this was still the case pre-pandemic), and have less support opportunities to escape abusive households. Here’s what we’re doing to address these issues, and what you can do to help:
Support YWCA Princeton’s Breast Cancer Resource Center
Our Breast Cancer Resource Center provides free support services and programs for women and their families year-round. Many of the BCRC’s services have gone virtual, such as the Healing Arts Program, Eat Better, Live Better cooking demonstrations, and the Wig and Prosthesis Boutique is open for women as needed. Our staff and volunteers are working tirelessly to raise awareness–if you’re in downtown Princeton and see pink ribbons this month, that’s their handiwork! You can show your support by snapping a picture and tagging our BCRC on social media on Instagram or Facebook.
In addition, you can show your support by attending the Beyond Pink Art Show, which showcases artwork created by or inspired by breast cancer patients and survivors. Both in-person and virtual tickets are available, and the gallery will open October 31 – November 1. You can also make a donation of any amount to support the BCRC’s work to help women live with, through, and beyond breast cancer.
October 18 – 24, 2020 is the national YWCA Week Without Violence, a week-long campaign where YWCAs across the country share resources and raise awareness on gender-based violence. This year’s programming features podcasts, panel discussions, social media campaigns, Capitol Hill day, and self-care resources.
Be sure to follow YWCA Princeton on Facebook, Instagram, and especially Twitter–we’ll be sharing resources and action items all week. Local resources are available for those in need through Womanspace, and a full list of New Jersey domestic violence services is available here.