Women’s health, in a broad definition of the term, is in the spotlight during October through the observances of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Domestic Violence Awareness Month. While men are certainly not immune from becoming victims of either breast cancer or family violence, the typical victims are indeed women.

It’s simple enough to create a committee, issue a press release and proclaim “protect yourself” and then go about your business. Unfortunately, it’s much more complicated than that, and several events scheduled in Brown and surrounding counties are calling attention to what specifically can and should be done to reach that goal.

Of these two observances, health care issues are the most obvious pertinent matters - for women and men. Brownwood Regional Medical Center will formally kickoff its “Healthy Woman” initiative with a dinner Tuesday night at the Depot Civic and Cultural Center, and programs will continue monthly. Women make the vast majority of household health care decisions, and it’s especially important that they have the knowledge and confidence to make informed healthcare and well-being decisions for themselves and loved ones.

Less obvious to most family members and friends is the problem of domestic violence. The awareness campaign under way this month is designed to let victims know that help is available and resources exist to help them find a way out. The ARK Domestic Violence Shelter is a leader in the local awareness effort.

If vastly different ways, the campaign to prevent breast cancer and the awareness campaign regarding domestic violence addresses the goal of keeping women - and families in general - thriving. Healthy bodies and safe surroundings are basic elements are a good life. Knowledge is crucial to both, and the events surrounding all these observances help direct local residents to the necessary information.

Brownwood Bulletin