I am a survivor.
That is why my seva is at my local domestic violence shelter for almost 10 years now. It is my favorite class to teach because my students are also my teachers. Someone you know is a survivor of domestic violence, sexual assault, or both.
Consider these facts —
Half of all married women in the United States are physically abused at some time in their marriage.
One in 10 teenagers will be involved in a violent dating relationship before graduating from high school.
A woman is beaten every 10 seconds.
Domestic violence is the most under-reported crime in the US.
Domestic violence cuts across all socioeconomic backgrounds, regardless of race, religion, or level of education.
Battering often occurs during pregnancy.
10 women a day die at the hands of their husbands or partners.
Every five years the number of women in the US who die at the hands of their partners is equal to the number of males who died in the Viet Nam War.
Abused women comprise 20% of all women presenting injuries at hospital emergency rooms.
Every 5 minutes a woman is raped.
One-third of all rapes occur in a woman’s home.
Rape itself is a violent act, but 85% of all rapes are accompanied by more violence or the threat of violence.
Only 7% of sexually assaulted women report rape. This makes the actual number of rapes in the US as high as 2 million a year.
One in three girls and one in five boys will be sexually assaulted or abused before age 18.
In a Cornell University questionnaire, 92% of the respondents listed sexual harassment as a serious problem. 70% had personally experienced some form of harassment.
American women are 8 times more likely to be raped than European women and 26 times more likely than Japanese women.
One third of the sexual assault program clients at the shelter where I teach are children between the ages of 3-13; 50% of these clients are boys between the ages of 3-10.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Instead of wearing a purple ribbon, find a DV shelter in your community and do you seva. Walk your yoga talk for these women and you will be repaid 10 times over. Last night one of the women brought her little boy and he got on my mat and started teaching with me. Priceless.
Karma yoga = yoga love.
May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness.
May all beings be free from suffering and the causes of suffering.